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Rent Increase, But Landlord Did Not Offer Renewal Lease

Posted by Mark Smith on March 15, 1999 at 05:05:55:

In Reply to: process servers posted by Lou on March 14, 1999 at 09:49:23:

If you have to lose time from work to put in a verbal answer and again to appear in court, you probably should hire a lawyer to put in a motion to dismiss, with a demand for your attorneys' fees, pursuant to Real Property Law 234, because the landlord didn't offer you a renewal lease, but is attempting to charge you a higher rent.

Defenses of improper service may result in a traverse hearing, and even if you win, the landlord can bring another non-payment action against you, resulting in more time lost from work. If your lawyer can get an order and judgment, including your attorneys' fees, ON THE MERITS, this would be better than dragging this thing out. It would also probably cure your landlord of ever doing this again.

: I'm new to the NYC Housing Court scene and have a couple of questions about service of papers.

: The affidavits for my rent demand and petition both list only one attempt prior to conspicuous place service. in fact, there is only room for one attempt on the preprinted form.

: First, aren't they required to make two actual attempts and deliver them on a separate third try? The cases in the HC section seem to back this up.

: Second, both lied about the only attempt: no way they were here within a three hour window of the hours on those days: is lying common? I got the impression that 'sewer service' was a thing of the past.

: Third, I just read that the marshall doesn't deliver his own warrants, see link to message, does he use the same process servers that landlords use? Scary thought...

: Fourth, I've been warned that all oral answers go to Resolution Part instead of Pre-Trial Part Y because the preprinted form includes service problems, incorrect information on the petition, and defenses/counterclaims. There were no preprinted Pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss, nor any other kind of Motion, with the clerk or with the pro se. Are there samples somewhere on the internet? I only have until Tuesday and I don't want to risk losing any defenses/counterclaims. I thought I would have time to see a counselor at a weekly neighborhood tenant group: I did not realize that the '5 days to answer' were CALENDAR days: they should be business days.

: The case? simple: landlord did not offer a rent stabilized renewal lease but is billing as if he did; I've paid the full amount of the old lease. Now I have to take at least two days off work to deal with this: one to answer, a second to see a judge. He should pay for this, not me.

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