Posted by Tim on December 26, 2000 at 15:37:03:
My apartment's lease expired on August 31. I expected to renew the lease for 1 year at that point.
In mid-September, I phoned my landlord and asked him why he hadn't cashed the check for September (I figured he was holding it and wanted more cash, since the rent was to rise at that point based on a new lease). Until this date, we had gotten nothing in the mail re: a new lease.
It turned out he had not recieved a check. I had set up the payment as an automatic check through my bank, and I had set the terminal date for August (when the lease expired). In any event, I promised to send a check, and also asked what the new rent would be so I would know what to pay. He said just make it out for the old amount and he would adjust it later. During that call I also told him that we had not recieved a new lease in the mail.
I paid Sept, Oct Nov and Dec rents on time (the checks were cashed) for the old amount and heard nothing from my landlord.
Last week I recieved a letter and a copy of a lease renewal letter dated April which I had never seen, setting out the terms of the lease, and asking for us to sign the lease, which would also require us to pay for the differential in rent for the four months that had passed. The letter also stated that we had not responded in any way to the lease renewal (true to the extent that we had not repsponded to the April letter, which we never recieved, but not true given the September phone conversation).
I think it is unreasonable for my landlord to retroactively ask for this differential. I want to simply propose that I pay the new rent from this point forward based on a new lease. I was prepared to pay him in September and was not trying to scam him in the least.
I'm fairly confident I am in the right as far as the back rent goes, but I want to be sure that He cant turn around and withdraw the previous lease offer and simply raise it even more to adjust for his lost revenue over the past 4 months.
Interested in any advice that anyone might offer.
I live in NYC in a market-rent situation and there are about 10 units in my bldg. (all rentals)
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