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Post HP Actions

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Re: Post HP Actions/ Certificate of No Harrasment

Postby vegastar » Wed May 17, 2017 12:33 pm

My LL is renovating, and wants to do alterations or demolition of about 8-9 rooms of former tenants who have passed away. This is a SRO building. I received a notification from DHPD to comment on the LL's request for a Cert. of No Harassment. There are 60 tenants. I know of about 4, plus me, who will deny this request. How many tenants does it take to deny this certificate? A majority? A certain percentage?
Thank you in advance!
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Re: Post HP Actions

Postby TenantNet » Wed May 17, 2017 12:57 pm

I do not know if there's a number or percentage that HPD will look at in order to determine harassment. But since it's a SRO, they are supposed to look at the last three years when a LL makes an application for alteration (known as ALT 1). ALT 1's are when they change the use or dimensions of a building, or parts of a building from the previous Certificate of Occupancy. If harassment has been found, then HPD is supposed to deny (via DOB) the application.

So you and the other tenants must organize and get yourselves to Legal Aid or Legal Services or MFY to push this through. Chances are if you do it yourselves, it might not have much impact. You must make as much of a stink as possible. You should also get the community board to pass a resolution.

I think you are in CommBoard 5

Community Board Five
450 Seventh Avenue
Suite 2109
New York, NY 10123
212.465.0907

Also you need to lean on ALL the elected officials. Ask the Commboard who are the elected officials for your location, and contact info. The commboard and elected officials need to write letters to HPD and appear at any hearings.

Make sure part of the story is that the LL refuses to show up at any court hearings and just ignores the court's orders.

Here's some other info
http://www.mfy.org/wp-content/uploads/C ... -Burke.pdf

https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloa ... mption.pdf
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Re: Post HP Actions

Postby vegastar » Tue May 30, 2017 10:26 pm

Thanks again! So far, so good. We're spreading the word about replying to the no-harass cert. Also, someone arranged a tenant meeting with one of the mfy supervising attorneys for later this week re: harassment. I definitely plan to be there. We've got to win this !!!!!!
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Re: Post HP Actions

Postby TenantNet » Wed May 31, 2017 6:31 am

Sure, spread the word. But keep in mind there is a deadline. Also what does "spread the word" mean?

You need to coordinate the response. Find out who has something to say. Help them organize their thoughts and the incidents of harassment they wish to raise. Help them write it (but only factual items, don't invent things). Collect the statements, make copies. Distribute to elected officials and the community board. Make sure it gets to HPD. And coordinate with MFY or whichever agency is working on this.

And when you say "someone" is arranging a meeting, you need to find out who that someone is, who they work for, and what agenda do they have, if any. There are people who - even if they have good intentions - create chaos and make things a mess. Remember that while landlords are evil, tenants are usually wackos and their own worst enemies.
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Re: Post HP Actions/ violation codes

Postby vegastar » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:49 pm

I had to file a second HP action for the LL not making repairs. The inspector was here already. I think he should have given a C instead of a B to one of the violations. My question is: 1. can a judge overrule an inspector's code assignment? 2. If an inspector says 'repair', can a judge order a 'replace' of a defective fixture? One of the violations is an outgrowth from the first HP case. The problem wasn't fixed a year and a half ago (LL is in contempt of court); the sink with cracks, erosion, possibly mold. It was given an A-violation code initially. Now it's gotten much worse with leaks in more than one place and some black growth (has to be mold). Question: Before the judge, can I bring up the history and point out that the current problem is due to the LL ignoring a court order from 2016, having never made a court-ordered repair of the sink, being in contempt of court for that and other violations as well?
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Re: Post HP Actions

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:00 pm

I don't know if a judge can do that. Some items are written into the statutory language. But it can't hurt to ask the judge. I think repair includes replace if the item can't be repaired. Again, you can ask the court, but be prepared to show the condition of the item with photos. You can ask the judge anything, but it might not be granted. Also consider that most judges have limited time and patience, so pick what items you bring up carefully. Be concise. Don't wander off with every little detail. Rehearse what you say and make sure it's under 30 seconds.

Before you get to the judge, raise the issues with the Court attorney and the HPD attorney at the HP hearing.

Mold can be a health threat. I'd call in the Dept. of Health on that.
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Re: Post HP Actions

Postby vegastar » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:18 am

To the foregoing post: I had to adjourn. The judge was out on vacation. To be continued in October.
New issue: I am pondering the idea of filing a harassment report with the DHPD. I' am sure I can make a compelling case. Previously, in the LL has been fined, is in contempt of court ... and my first case basically concluded with an inquest. My 2nd HP action is in progress. Eventually, there will be a non-payment proceeding against me. I will go with the breach of the WoH and possibly breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. From what I understand the presence of harassment will be decided by a judge with fines to be issued. As I see it, a claim of harassment is basically what the breach of the WoH is about. The focus is on the ill-effects resulting from the LL's deliberate neglect of making repairs and forcing me to live in substandard conditions. I don't see a good reason for not making a harassment claim. Seems to me it will bolster my case when I get to the non-payment proceeding. Or ???? Are there grounds for not employing this strategy?
Thank you in advance!
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Re: Post HP Actions

Postby TenantNet » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:05 am

Be careful you aren't the boy who cried wolf too often. Make it stick. Also look at the harassment provisions added to the recent legislation found here: https://goo.gl/tnJ5Dv - and Google "tenant safety legislation harassment"
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