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Lease Expired, Went Month-to-Month, Notice Period Holdover?

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Lease Expired, Went Month-to-Month, Notice Period Holdover?

Postby byebyenyc » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:47 am

Really the title says it all, but a quick explanation.

Despite requesting lease extension paperwork, I did not receive papers in July of 2016. I continued to pay rent and my landlord continued to accept it, so my understanding is that I reverted to being a month-to-month tenant. On May 31st, 2017, I gave my landlord 30 days notice that I would be moving out on June 30th (which I did and returned keys).

In the original lease, there is a clause in the rider that reads:

"If tenant does not renew the lease or is notified by the Landlord that the Landlord will not permit renewal of this lease, then Tenant will allow the Landlord and/or the Landlord's broker to show apartment 60 days prior to the end of the Lease. Under any circumstances tenant must provide 60 days notice prior to vacating the apartment. Tenant's failure to abide by the terms contained in this Paragraph 50 shall be deemed a substantial breach of Tenant's obligations under this lease."

My understanding was that this clause would have expired when the lease expired and I became a month-to-month tenant, as it would make no sense for a month-to-month relationship to be governed by a two-month notice clause.

My landlord claims that the clause is still in effect, and that I therefore owe him another month's rent and has claimed he will "place this account into collections, notify all credit bureaus and commence action for recovery of all sums due and owing."

I've tried to speak with lawyers, gotten NYC Bar association referrals to lawyers, but the response has been "TOO BUSY SO SORRY".

I would like to ask the fine folks of this forum for help understanding whether I really owe him more rent and which follow-up actions (if any) are necessary.
byebyenyc
 
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Re: Lease Expired, Went Month-to-Month, Notice Period Holdov

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:33 am

For non-regulated tenants, lease expiration means you revert to month-to-month if LL accepts rent.

That means if the LL gave you the required 30-day notice today (7/13/17), it would not be effective until Sept. 1st.

And you might be able to challenge the deregulation status, depending on what evidence you have. Court would be reluctant to evict a tenant if they might end up being rent stab. Many (most?) units claimed by LLs to be deregulated, were not done so legally.

LL access for showing must be reasonable dates/times and frequency, and must gave advance written notice. The LL can't just barge in any time they want. OTOH, tenants are also expected to be reasonable.

For month-to-month tenancies, our understanding is that while the LL must give 30-days notice to the tenant if in NYC, the reverse is not true and the tenant is not obligated to give notice. A provision in the original lease requiring 60 days notice is probably not enforceable.

See viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5024

Sounds like the LL is just trying to intimidate you. Many LLs pull this nonsense.

BTW, the LL might try to withhold your deposit claiming this or other made-up excuses. That is why some tenants withhold payment of the last month expecting this sort of thing. In the end, unless there's some real claims against the LL, tenants would be liable for the rent through the end of the tenancy.
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Re: Lease Expired, Went Month-to-Month, Notice Period Holdov

Postby byebyenyc » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:48 pm

Thanks for the reply!

I did withhold a month's rent to ensure that he doesn't have the security deposit anymore. The landlord has pretty bad yelp reviews and lots of people had to threaten legal action or get lawyers to write letters to get the rent back. I didn't worry about it at all moving in because I went via a reputable broker ... little did I know.

The key question is enforceability of the 60 days' notice. I suspected it was not enforceable, but he's basically saying he's going to put it directly in collections, notify credit bureaus etc.

The lawyers I've reached out to don't seem interested in the case (understandably as it's basically a small-claims case for one month's rent) so I'm having trouble getting clarity.

Any ideas of lawyers to talk to? I think that what I really need is a lawyer to a) agree that the provision isn't enforceable, and b) write the landlord a properly worded letter. I just haven't yet found a lawyer that I can get to care.
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Re: Lease Expired, Went Month-to-Month, Notice Period Holdov

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:03 pm

That's our opinion (and we're not lawyers). You might wish to consult with a tenant attorney. Of course he could try, lodging complaints with credit agencies, meaning you would need to take the effort to have the complaint expunged. There are tenant attorneys who advertise on this site. Or you could go to a tenant clinic - there are some around town depending on where you live.

Have you check with other former tenants to see if they faced this, and what happened?
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Re: Lease Expired, Went Month-to-Month, Notice Period Holdov

Postby byebyenyc » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:05 pm

That's a good thought - I can only think of one other former tenant, but I'll ping him.

I suspect they just gave the 60 days notice. I would have if I had been aware of it, I just thought the lease had gone month-to-month and that 30 days was the appropriate amount of notice.
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