Posted by Kat on July 01, 2001 at 15:54:36:
I have a question and a concern, and I would appreciate any help offered. If possible, I would ask that you please email me directly as well as post a reply.
I live in a suburb of NYC in a town in Rockland County, NY. My husband and I rent an apartment in the basement of a house. There are two other apartments (including the one in which the LL lives) in the house. Although this house has three apartments in it, it is currently zoned only for a Single Family Home (we checked with our Zoning Board at the Town Hall). Violations and at least one summons has been issued to our LL in the past about this issue.
Our situation is this: our LL is currently declaring bankruptcy. We have been verbally "threatened" about living in this apartment - the LL has made three references to terminating the tenancy. The reasons for these "threats" are trivial and unfounded (i.e. "driving too fast down the driveway"). We decided to speak to the LL and ask to see proof of our security in an escrow or other such secure bank account, as we are nervous about the shady nature of the way our LL has been dealing with us. She failed to provide us with this proof, and we decided to forego one month's rent in lieu of half of our security deposit (we gave her 2 months). After we did this, our LL began harassing us - calling the police to our residence for unsubstantiated "disturbances". Not paying one month's rent (using 1/2 the security deposit instead) is our only violation of any LL/Tenant agreement.
We are concerned that our LL will issue a "Non-Payment Dispossess" or other such legal action while we are out of the country. We are more than willing to go to court to defend ourselves, but we are going on our honeymoon - and will be out of the country and travelling for 6 weeks. What happens if we fail to answer a "Non-Payment Dispossess" in the 5 days allotted because we never received it (because we were away)? Can a "Non-Payment Dispossess" be delivered to us if we are out of the country?
I would like to thank you for your attention to this matter, and for any help you can give to me and my husband. If you can email me directly I would greatly appreciate it.
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