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Asked to move out temporarily, than LL sold property

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Asked to move out temporarily, than LL sold property

Postby Marilyn_V » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:52 am

What a nightmare. 9 weeks ago, LL asked us to move out of our brand new Brooklyn rental unit just weeks after we moved in. Temporarily, it was due to a permit issue with DoB. He apologized, offered to pay our moving expenses (both out & back in) and helped us temporarily lease one of his other properties (a company with +/- 10 apartment buildings).

We moved out, had him add this clause to the temporary lease :
Landlord shall notify Tenant as soon as the Apartment at XXX becomes available. At that date, Tenant shall have the right to terminate this lease and take possession of the Apartment at XXX on the pre-negotiated terms as outlined in the lease agreement signed by both parties on October 7th, 2019. "

We have been waiting for the message to move back ever since. Inquired every other week but kept hearing “be patient, we will update you as soon as we know something”.

SHOCKER: just found out that the property was sold a few weeks back, and that the new LL is not aware of our existence, nor is he willing to honor our lease agreement. Good news is, they have not rented out “our” apartment yet. Bad news is, they have significantly increased the price and refuse to take the listing offline.

Do I sign a new lease at a much higher rate? Or do I fight? Where do I stand legally, where do I go for help? Should I lawyer up, how much is that going to cost me?
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Re: Asked to move out temporarily, than LL sold property

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:21 am

First off, is there any chance that you might be rent stabilized, which adds additional protections? Many LLs tell tenants they are not RS, but that's often not true. How old is the building? How many units? Is the building rental, or is it coop or condo?

Second, I assume you signed a lease as you say you had just moved in. Even if not RS, the lease usually controls.

Third, did you get a relocation agreement and consult with a tenant attorney?

Fourth, a new owner takes on all rights and obligations of existing leases.

Have you investigated the problems with DOB to see if they are legit?

Have you consulted with a tenant attorney? If the new LL is trying to re-rent the place, you might need to go to court for an order prohibiting him from doing just that.

Yes, lawyers can be expensive. But look at the original lease to see if it has anything about legal fees. If there is such a clause and you go to court, it is possible that the losing party might have to pay the legal fees of the winning party.

I would not sign a new lease.

Whatever you do, start documenting everything. Save every piece of paper that you receive or send out. Save all envelopes (for the postmarks). Send all letters to the LL by certified mail. Keep a dairy of all conversations. It's our understanding that it is legal in NY to record phone calls and they you do not have to tell the other party they are being recorded (being admissible in court is something else).
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