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what to do next?

Posted by chelsea on June 15, 2001 at 17:39:31:

In Reply to: Re: NO LL RESPONSE TO OVERCHARGE posted by snorkel on June 14, 2001 at 12:38:33:

Housing Court, Civil/Supreme Court and DHCR are three different routes, with different advantages and disadvantages, which have been discussed at various points on this forum (you might check the archives). The best thing for you to do would probably be to have a consultation with tenant lawyer (or two or three) to get a clearer picture of what would be the best choice for your own situation.

One more thing though on Housing Court, the one I've had most experience: I don't think nonpayment of rent in a Housing Court case necessarily destroys your credit. I've withheld rent for a good long while (for overcharge and the landlord's failure to obtain a certificate of occupancy), and have seen no effect on my good credit rating in credit reports I've ordered. Landlords have posted messages on this list swearings that they check court records for tenants involved in lawsuits, but I've seen very little hard evidence of this. If it is true, I doubt they would look any more favorably on a civil or supreme court overcharge case than a housing court nonpayment case.

: Some say to let the LL take me to court, others say I should start the proceeding immediatly. I don't know which is correct now. I certainly don't want to ruin my credit over a scumbag LL, but I do want to do this correctly. How do I start housing court proceedings? Should I hire a lawyer to guide me through this? Now I'm totally confused and I thought I was doing everything correctly. aaarg.

: : Withholding rent would not be a good idea as it would set you up to be evicted due to nonpayment of rent. And would be a blackmark on your credit report that you don't need to get from this lowdown LL. I would go to court immediately and ask the judge to set up an escrow account and dump what money you would have paid the LL into it. Send a letter to LL stating what's been done as well. Then LL can tell you're serious and start moving on doing what needs to be done to rectify the situation amicably.

: : : I live in a RS apartment on the lower eastside. A few months ago it came to my attention that the landlord was overcharging me by about $1000 (based on the rental history provided by the DHCR). I have gone through all the appropriate channels, done my research, consulted with attorneys and sent him a certified letter with return receipt stating my case. I basically gave him all the facts and figures and wrote that I wanted us to come to an amicable and reasonable agreement so as to avoid housing court (where he would most likely be hit with treble damages as well). I also said that if he does not rectify the situation I would begin witholding rent starting in July. Anyway, I received the return receipt two weeks ago and he has not responded.

: : : Do I just wait it out, withold rent and let him take me to court for non-payment and state my case at that time? Do I keep sending letters? Is the ball in his court now? I'm just not sure and the waiting is giving me an ulcer. Any advice would be grand. Thanks.

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