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Need Some Guidance Re: NonPayment Evictions

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Need Some Guidance Re: NonPayment Evictions

Postby DMcDonough » Tue Mar 04, 2003 2:01 pm

We have been living in an apt. complex (with a lease) for almost 2 years and have been good about paying rent, until this year. In Feb. we filed for bankruptcy and told the landlord we had done so but that we chose not to have the lease discharged -- and we paid all back rent (1 month) and late fees by the time indicated in our letter.

Then in June I was struck by a car, and could not work. We continued to pay rent out of our savings/contingency funds but those ran out in October. We contacted the managing agent of the complex and explained the situation to her and asked to set up a payment schedule. We then paid the management office about $450 a week to show that we were making an effort to pay up. In early Feb., when we were almost completely paid off, we got a three day notice/rent demand saying that we had to pay the remaining balance of what was owed or move out in three days. Obviously impossible. AND -- the amount that was on the rent demand was $800 more than what we actually owed. We called and wrote a letter to the managment office, telling them that according to our cancelled checks/bank statements, the rent demand was saying we owed more than we actually did. The manager of the building acknowledged the mistake (orally) and told us to keep sending in payments, that if we kept paying under our initial agreement and paid what was owed, we wouldn't get evicted. We did what she said. This past Fri., 2/28/03 we sent the last installment to the landlord and we were all caught up and paid in full. Then the very next business day, we were served with a petition to come to court -- they want to evict for nonpayment and they are saying we owe two months' rent, interest, late fees and attorneys fees. Yet we had a payment arrangement, the building manager accepted all our payments and said we wouldn't be evicted if we paid, and we are now all caught up and don't owe anything. We have to go to court tomorrow or the next day to fill out a form that answers the landlord's "petition". We plan to say that we don't owe anything, that we had a financial problem due to a car accident but that we made payment arrangements with the landlord and are now current on the rent, and now that I am back to working a permanent job there should be no more problems. I read somewhere that we can still get evicted because we were late/on the payment arrangement for a 5 month period so they can still say that we failed to pay our rent on time. Given that the rent demand, from day one, was incorrect as to what we owed, and given that the petition does not reflect that we are all paid up, can they still evict us or do they have to start all over and just ask for possession of the apartment due to our failure to pay on time or leave? We are not sure what the best defense would be and we know that whatever we put on the answer form is going to have to be our main defense.

Is there anyone out there who can help me out?
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 2:01 am
Location: Queens, New York

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