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Re: Having to Pay WithHeld "BackRent": The Exceptions

Posted by David on January 13, 1999 at 10:38:43:

In Reply to: Re: Having to Pay WithHeld "BackRent": The Exceptions posted by DK on January 12, 1999 at 19:33:31:

: Tenants still have the right to withhold rent to compel their landlord to make repairs needed to correct violation conditions. Both the warranty of habitability in Real Property Law 235-b and the "rent strike law" in Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law 755 give tenants this right.

: The new law which you are probably describing requires that tenants deposit their rent with the court if they are seeking to vacate a default judgment, that is, a court ruling that the landlord is entitled to evict because the tenant did not answer the court papers or missed a court date.

: : Before the "new laws" came into effect, I saw two women on a cable access show, from a group that
: : assists tenants at the housing courts (they are situated in the building), and they were outlining
: : things about how housing court operating would be different in lew of the new laws. They said that
: : tenants would no longer be able to withhold rent until a decision had been made in their case, except
: : for a few situations, one of which was if the status of the building was in question. I need to have this
: : verified again. Can anyone state me the part of the new law, or whatever additional policies which were
: : given to govern them, that I am referring to? I think people (and their lawyers) are unaware of these
: : exceptions and need to be using them. Lord knows that the courts won't tell us about them.

I am referring to tenants withholding rent to await the courts determination, before the new laws came into being and thereafter, because the landlord has
asked an outrageous increase and claimed the building was a co-op. Nowdays, the courts will make you put rent somewhere, but they are not supposed to be
able to collect or ask for the backrent if the status of the building is at question (and the cause?). I really need to find that information - the lawyers
don't seem to know about it.

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