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Extending non rent stabilized sublease with illusory tenancy

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Extending non rent stabilized sublease with illusory tenancy

Postby K10065 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:43 pm

I subleased an apartment in Manhattan (it is not rent stabalized or rent controlled) I have lived there for approx 2 years and am currently unable to move due to medical reasons. The building owner is suing my sublandlord for holdover eviction as they did not renew his lease (I think because he did not have permission to sublease-I did not realize this I thought my sublanlord had proper permission from building management as he has been subleasing apartment for over 10 years while living abroad) Unfortuantely I'm not able to move at this time as I'm recovering from surgery out of state. I have doctors letter asking court for 6 months to move. Can I possibly fight eviction under "illusory tenancy" as superintendent knew that I was subleasing from tenant for past 2years and super told me he is part owner of building. Or does this not matter as its not rent stabalized and maybe I have no rights since I'm only an under tenant? Also does building owner have to properly serve papers to me? (I was named on petition as under-tenant along with my Sublandlord as tenant but I was not served the papers-can this be reason to fight case? I'm so scared of loosing all my belongings, etc and I can't afford expensive lawyer:( Thank you so much for any advice
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Re: Extending non rent stabilized sublease with illusory ten

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:27 pm

First, if you're recovering out-of-state, and if you don't have a lawyer, how can you do anything to fight it? A tenant (or a named party) needs to either show up at court appearances or have a legal representative. Courts might be willing to adjourn once, but they need someone to show up to ask for that (usually with a notarized affidavit). They won't postpone indefinitely.

This past summer I appeared on behalf of a tenant who was on vacation out-of-state. This was the first appearance that would have been adjourned anyway. I had the tenant prepare and notarize an affidavit for the judge. I'm not an attorney so I couldn't argue any issue of the case. All I could do was ask for an adjournment. But a real person had to show up.

The fact you're a named party and not served - in my opinion - is a valid defense. But you need to be there to assert the defense.

As for illusory tenancy, that can get complicated.

Whether or not the unit should be considered stabilized is also complicated. Either of those issues can be raised, but you need to do your homework on both.

You also need to decide how to act before the case moves along.

Also, considere your strategy -- fight the eviction completely? Try to make a deal with the LL to take over the tenancy? Or seek additional time so you can move.

You probably do need a lawyer. At a minimum, I would get a legal consultation to pay out your position, how bad is it and what's a good strategy to follow.
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Re: Extending non rent stabilized sublease with illusory ten

Postby K10065 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:59 pm

I was diagnosed with severe depression stemming from surgery trauma and a mental health organization in nyc suggested I contact a social worker to see if they could go to court for me to give the court the letters from doctors
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Re: Extending non rent stabilized sublease with illusory ten

Postby TenantNet » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:27 am

I'm pretty sure the court can't grant six months to move. They might agree to an adjournment as I discussed above. But eventually you or a legal representative would need to appear in court.

However the landlord can agree to a six month delay if they are willing. (BTW, I'm pretty sure a doctor's letter does not ask for 6 months to move; it might just opine on your medical condition and outlook).

Any agreement with the landlord would have to be done by written stipulation. This would not resolve the case against the prime tenants. If the prime tenants are fighting the eviction, then any agreement you make with the landlord would be separate from the issues with the prime tenant.

We are not attorneys so we can't tell you how such an agreement would have to be fashioned. Again, you'll need a lawyer for that.

It appears you're hoping the social organization will represent you in court. Unless it has an attorney that agrees to represent you, it can't do so.
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