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Landlord accepts rent payment after rent demand...

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Landlord accepts rent payment after rent demand...

Postby raym1 » Mon May 21, 2018 5:29 am

I have what seems like an odd situation with a non-payment proceeding. Hoping to get a better understanding of it here.

I'm rent stabilized, and my landlord claims to have served a 3 day rent demand. Following that demand, his business records show he's accepted money from me that exceeds what's demanded in the 3 day notice. A few weeks later he files his Petition in housing court, which lists exactly the same amount owed and was paid by me, as did the rent demand.

Can the Landlord continue with his Petition once he's accepted all money that was asked for in the original 3 day rent demand?
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Re: Landlord accepts rent payment after rent demand...

Postby TenantNet » Mon May 21, 2018 5:58 am

Well he can continue, but you have an automatic defense in that the rent he's demanding has been paid. Make sure that is in your answer to the court.

And make sure you have proof of payment, canceled checks, bank statements or whatever. If mail order, I hope you made copies before you sent it in. The M.O. company can give you proof that the MO has been cashed, but it might charge you for that. WHen paying you can do it by Certified Mail RRR or Certificate of Mailing.

I would contact the LL or his attorney, and tell him the rent has been paid and accepted, and that he should discontinue the case. What do you mean "his business records?" Have you seen them? Do you have a copy of the LL's records?

Of course never accept the LL's word. Go to court until the court says the case is dismissed or discontinued.

And if you paid more than the legal rent, you should have a claim for an overcharge.
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Re: Landlord accepts rent payment after rent demand...

Postby raym1 » Mon May 21, 2018 6:35 am

Thanks for getting back so quickly.

In this instance, by "business records" I was specifically referring to having received a rent bill from him that indicated a credit for my payment. I also have photocopies of the money orders that I sent to him for the payment.

Where I get confused with all of this is that by the time he filed his petition in court, the Landlord would have been owed some additional rent money that's not asked for in the rent demand or the petition. Is that a basis for him to continue the petition, or has the landlord just screwed up here if he's been paid the amount asked for in the demand prior to filing his petition? I honestly don't know what to make of what he's doing here. He has a lawyer, but the whole business seems kind of goofy.
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Re: Landlord accepts rent payment after rent demand...

Postby TenantNet » Mon May 21, 2018 12:38 pm

Then send a letter back to him (and his attorney) including a copy of the bill showing the prior payment and demanding they discontinue the proceeding. Still, however, put in an answer and show up in court (even though it's a hassle) until the court gives you a document that the case is gone.

No, the new rent owed is not a basis to continue the petition as the underlying debt is bogus. But if the debt were real, he could amend the petition to include all rent now owing.

If you wish, you can also file a complaint against the attorney with the Bar Association. And you can also consider filing a complaint that the LL's attorney violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if warranted. See http://www.nycbar.org/RealEstate/Articl ... Demand.htm.

All that's a hassle, but it might teach the attorney to do his homework next time.
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Re: Landlord accepts rent payment after rent demand...

Postby raym1 » Mon May 21, 2018 1:40 pm

Thanks again, your answers have been very helpful. I think I have a better idea of where I stand now. Much appreciated!
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