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Re: To Withold rent or not?

Posted by Stacy on July 24, 2001 at 15:17:47:

In Reply to: To Withold rent or not? posted by snorkel on July 23, 2001 at 12:30:41:

Whenever a question like this comes up on the board, people tend to say 'use your rent money to hire a lawyer.' But that's a pretty dicey tactic that could easily backfire--no matter how cut-and-dried a case is, the courts in NYC have make some wacky decisions.

Has anyone tried to go it alone? How have they found it? Has anyone tried to fight an overcharge through DHCR, and have they had any success?

I'm in the same boat here: I have a key money and overcharge case that's pretty black and white, but I haven't found any lawyers willing to work with it on contingency. I've consulted three laywers (two found through this board), and all want $1.5K down and estimate the case would cost $8K-$10K to take through the courts. Yes, I'd get the money back if I win, but no matter how small the risk of losing is, I don't have several thousand to risk.

Any suggestions? I've been wrestling with this for more than a year; at this point, all I can think of to do is wait till my lease is about to expire and then file through DHCR. I'm not planning to renew, but I don't want to file sooner and risk not having maintence work done.

: I live in a RS apt in Manhattan. LL is blatantly overcharging me by $1,000. DHCR rental history proves this. (This LL had been found guilty before and received press for being dirty, too.) Anyway, personal negotiations with LL have gone nowhere. I've consulted an attorney but can't really afford to maintain his services.

: My question(s) is this: Should I continue paying the rent that is on the lease until I can afford to take him to supreme court with an attorney? Should I withold rent and let him take me to court and then counter sue for treble damages? OR, should I pay him the rent that I've calculated to be fair according to the law? I'm pretty confused about the whole process and I'd like to resolve it asap. Also, if it is such a blatant case, would it really be too dificult to represent myself in court?

: Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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