Posted by Marty on June 01, 2000 at 09:50:11:
A friend who does not have internet access asked me to ask this, so please bear with me if some important detail is missing.
His landlord sent a termination notice for violation of lease which was bogus, e.g. working out of his home. He consulted a couple of attorneys who made it sound very expensive to fight because it was true but the nature the work produced no noise and little traffic, certainly a lot less of a nuisance than a piano teacher! Instead of hiring a lawyer, he agreed to a buyout directly with the landlord's attorneys before they even filed the Petition. He now realizes how stupid that was and wants out of the agreement. The rent stabilization code says he cannot waive his rights without DHCR or Court approval and or supervision. And it seems from our research here and offline that the courts have agreed until recently.
As posted in Tenant Net Housing Court Decisions, Merwest Realty originally confirmed this . However, two years later, the Appellate Division did a 180 and said a tenant can waive everything even without a lawyer (like my friend did), Decisions August 1999. One difference is that my friend did not start this discussion of buyout and was harassed for several years before the bogus termination notice, including being threatened by the so-called super with a knife, police report on file. Not exactly "voluntary".
The question is: does anyone know if Merwest Realty has been appealed to the next level (Court of Appeals, right?) Or do you know how to find out online? If not, what would he look for in the court's file to determine this? And exactly where is the Appellate Division.?
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