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Who owns my building?

Rights for non-regulated tenants

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Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:39 am

Emeraldstar,

The access law would only apply if the person was indeed the landlord (or an agent). If there is confusion as to who owns the building, I would not even go there. One must get a clarification as to who is the LL.

I sound like a broken record, but a good tenant attorney can make both sides cut the bullshit.

If a property has been sold, then there's a deed. If it's been foreclosed, there are bank and court records.
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Postby Cazmia » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:08 pm

Thank you Emerald and TN. And you're right, ownership has NOT been established. Funny ES, my. "real" landlord has said to do the same thing and call the police on them. Today, every tenant in the building was given a Ten Day Notice to Quit. :(
My LL said to save all paperwork should we all have to sue. The notice was attached to the Referees Deed, but the corporation listed as the owner is not exactly the same. (Just an example: Referee's Deed says 1313 Mokingbird Associates but Ten Day Notice attached lists the owner as 1313 Mockinbird Square Corp)..
HPD has my current LL listed....Deed I found online names my current Ll as head officer..Dept of Finance shows property taxes to MY landlord....I have all this in a file folder and have highlighted a paragraph at HPD that reads that a court action can't be initiated if the building isn't registered in so-called new owner's name. Being that this is a 5 unit bldg, I don't know if any of this would support me if I stood before a judge, espevially unable to afford a lawyer..but I'm saving it anyhow.
You advised me to check the Bronx County Clerk and I did. There is a proceeding against my landlord, the landlord before him AND this new person as defendents against the Bank of New York. The last summons was served just yestetday according to public record at the county clerk website, so all parties have issues of their own. The proceeding wasa called a Summons and Complaint and.
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Postby Cazmia » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:12 pm

Sorry..it was Summons and Complaint and Notice of Pendency.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:14 pm

Your "real" landlord represents his interests, not yours. Your "real" LL will toss you under the bus if it serves his interests.

The tenants would be best served by forming their own tenant association, not responsive to either landlord.

Yes, a lawyer costs more than most have, but less than if you're evicted. Hint: if a single tenant qualifies for Legal Aid or Legal Services, then they can "in effect" represent all tenants.

Do not rely on HPD/DOF online records. They are notoriously late.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:46 pm

Hi All
TN I see your point on access.
Caz first I'll say kudos/bravo for the strength your showing & hang in there. As I'm understanding what you unearthed at BCC site it appears to me that TN's advisement is prudent. Talking to the LL, keep it at a minimum. Seems to me there is a connection with "rude person" and it may be a quasi good cop bad cop tactic, & "under the bus" could come about. Check into TN's hint and if not an option try getting together with neighbors to brainstorm what each can afford to put towards legal fees as a group and probably long term. At the very least it may come up with a sum that empowers shopping around for legal help.
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Postby Cazmia » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:54 am

I know what you mean about records not being current online. However, the registration to my current landlord doesn't expire until September of 2013 and the Notice of Pendency was just served on June 24th, 2013.

Hard to rally the tenants. One has had deaths in the family and doesn't want to stay, because she only liked our LL and is unwillinging to submit to another. Another tenant hasn't paid rent for a year to the last LL and is happy because he said the new LL will simply start accepting rent from June on..

I cannot pay for June, because I always pay my rent on time and have already paid for this month to the old LL. It's pathetic and sad that the only person not being asked to leave is a man who just moved in 2 years ago, is "pretending" he was the former superintendent and talks a good talk. He is still going to court with our LL to be evicted for nonpayment, has another appearance in July.

When all us paying tenants are gone, I suppose the landlord will realize he kept the only deadbeat tenant down the line, when he starts to scheme ways not to pay his rent again.

That won't be much help to us, though.

Thanks for everything, guys and take care.
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:37 am

I don't know what you mean by "registration doesn't expire..." That has nothing to do with ownership of the building. If you mean DHCR registration, that's meaningless in this context.

I always pay my rent on time and have already paid for this month to the old LL


This is exactly why you need to get it sorted out. What happens if the new LL sues you for this month's rent?

Tenants are often their own worst enemies. If they won't lift a finger, then get your own legal help.
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Postby Cazmia » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:29 pm

Please don't think I am being argumentative, because I am actually asking this out of genuine concern that a judge will tell me the exact same thing and I figure it's better asking you, TN, then looking like an ignorant lamen in a court of law.

That being said, why is the building's property registration at HPD meaningless in this context?

Here is a clause from HPD: "...If a building does not have a valid Property Registration, a violation may be issued to the owner and the owner may be liable for civil penalties between $250-$500. Further, the owner will not be able to certify violations, request a Cod Violation Dismissal or initiate a court action to recover possession of the premises for nonpayment of rent."

If this new LL were to follow through and bring an eviction case against me and I were holding paperwork showing that the building is not registered to this person, wouldn't this clause imply that there would be grounds for a dismissal until he could at least have the building registered in his name?

Perhaps, if a case were post-poned and the new LL (if he is) had months to realize what a quiet, considerate and good-paying tenant I am, time might tame this beastly person...I dunno, I have been through this 3 times in the last decade and I am so tired of always paying my rent and having to move as if I am a transient. It's just so hard to keep relocating with a full time job.

We both know working people just want to come home after a long day and spend time with their family and loved ones, not deal with nonsense like this.
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:39 pm

Because you didn't say it was a HPD registration.
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Very sticky situation

Postby Cazmia » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:32 am

The plot thickens. My landlord needs the help of the current tenants including me. Apparently, the former owner sold our home to him while it was in foreclosure.

The rude person claiming to be the new LL says he bought the house from the bank. However, the bank foreclosed and sold the house from the FORMER landlord, NOT my current landlord.

The house no longer belonged to the former owner when it was taken and sold. My current landlord wants me to attest that I was never served with papers notifying the tenants of the foreclosure that was in process when he bought the building.

My current landlord is a sweet, professional man who was making repairs and bringing the building back to it's former glory when this new person came along.

The so-called new LL has done nada for the building. He lied to another tenant, saying he paid the electric bill, because Con Ed has been sending us turn off notices for the public areas of the building and the boiler. I called Con Ed and no payments have been made on that account since Feb 2012.

Thinking back on it, I believe this person is associated with the bank and has been snooping around here for years because he does look familiar. I would like to help my current landlord any way I can to keep his building from this coniving, heartless liar who shook my husband's hand, talked about a new lease and then served us all with ten day notices to quit.
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:42 am

How many LL are there now? You are not explaining this well.

Do you have yourself a lawyer yet? You may think one of the LLs are sweet, but you need to protect your interests. Don't screw yourself because you think the LL is sweet and you want to help him.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:21 pm

Hi All
TN hang in there..LOL
Caz does what you posted make any red flags go up for you? I can't fathom how your "current LL" purchased the bld while under forclosure without the bank knowing then complete forclosure & sell to another party. The herring is rotten in Denmark....
Contact the Attorney General explain you cannot afford a lawyer, your being set up for an non rent payment & see if they can find who legally collects the rent.
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Postby Cazmia » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:10 pm

Hi, and thank you again. Sorry TN, this situation is as complex to me as it SOUNDS to you. lol I am trying my best to understand it myself and then explain it, so I can get the right sort of advice..There are 2 LLs, but mine has only owned the bulding for a year and a half, so the old owner still comes up on court actions along with my current LL, and my current lease is a 2-year which I signed with the former owner.

ES, I have just been served a Notice of Petition (Hold-Over Dwelling) from this new, nasty person and have to be in court on July 31st. He is asking for possession of my apartment, first and foremost, and also suing in civil court for 2 months rent, one of which I had aleady paid to my proper LL, BEFORE the date on this new person's "referee's deed". It was dated June 4th. Naturally, I paid my rent on June 1st, as I do every month.

The petition is full of lies I'd really like to try and explain, without being *too wordy:

1. The respondent (supposedly me) is NOT NAMED in the petition. He has a man's name that does not exist. I'm guessing he asked someone my father's name and they gave him something close. However, my father is MY tenant, not paying me rent and not on my lease. I intend to point this out.

2. The petition also states that this named person who doesn't exist entered into a LL / tenant rental agreement with him and that we were notified at least 30 days in advance that he no longer wished to continue my tenancy, and saying I am responsible for fair value of use and occupancy past the date AND his court fees. If I were his tenant, it stands to reason that he would know my name at the very least. I never met him before he served me these court papers, only got a ten day notice to quit served by who I'm guessing is his lawyer on June 24th. He is completely fabricating a tenancy, but I have a lease to back up my true tenancy.

3. The petition claims the premises are a muiltiple dwelling and pursuant to the Administrative Code Article 41 there is currently an effective registration on file with the Office of Code Enforcement in which the owner has designated the managing agent name below (and he names himself below). I personally went to HPD Online and entered the very same registration number and the owner and managing agent comes up as MY LL, not this person. Isn't that a form of fraud??

I have been working closely with my LL to help him prove this sale was bogus. He has asked me to hold onto to my rent until he has this all worked out. I am the only tenant whose been here long enough to say that I was never served with papers regarding the foreclosure back in 2007 which is when the mortgager states the papers were served. Everyone else has moved since then. They say I when I was served, I was a 55-60 year old woman, weighing 200 pounds and 5'5" with black hair and white skin. In 2007, I had just turned 31 years old. I'm 4'11" with caramel skin and brown hair. I'm not at all skinny, but I wasn't even close to 200, even 7 years later when I was pregnant. =)

My LL has also spoken to his lawyer and told her how cooperative and helpful I've been, because I work at an office and when he needs an affidavit or anything from me. I have it notarized and faxed within minutes.

His lawyer would like to include me in my LL's motion to try and invalidate the Mortgager's sale of the building to this guy, and I am all for testifying on his behalf. His lawyer would like to represent me, free of charge, and try and file a restraining order. If the courts sign it, it will nix my eviction for now. If they don't, she will represent me in court on July 31st.

I have spoken to another tenant and let her know what is going on, and she seems inspired and said she will be sure NOT to miss her court date, which is the same day. Not a tenant's association, I know, but I'm trying to create a united front.

I have also tried to do my homework and engaged in extensive online investigation regarding the case, and I have a case folder of my own to show to the lawyer, because I haven't much trust in the lawyer doing a lot of footwork on my behalf, even though I appreciate her kind gesture to represent me.

Wish me luck..
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Postby TenantNet » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:21 pm

You posted a book. One problem here is that every time you post, because it has a lapse of weeks, I know nothing of the case, and am forced to read it all over again.
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Postby TenantNet » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:23 am

I'm responding to the last post, not the entire thread here. So I have not refreshed all that you said before (which is why people should have short posts).

Any lease you have continues to any new owner. If you signed a lease with the old owner, the lease is in effect with the new owner until it expires.

If there is confusion as to who is the rightful owner, let them duke it out. If you pay rent to one, the other will likely come after you. That is why you should a) get some legal advice, and b) consider withholding the rent - or putting it in escrow - until the two LLs have finished their dispute. In fact, if they are in court, chances are one or the other will ask the court to order all rents be placed in escrow pending the outcome of their dispute.

A holdover is not a non-payment, although they can seek unpaid rent in a holdover. A holdover is only when your lease has expired, or if the LL has terminated the lease, usually for some claimed cause.

Your father may be a family member in the unit, but he's not a tenant unless he's paying rent.

Nevertheless, if you are not listed on the caption of the petition, ask the court to dismiss it for failure to list a necessary party (you), assuming you are the tenant named on the lease.

If they claimed to have terminated the tenancy, that must be on notice and it must have been served properly, either personal service, or nail & mail.

Check your lease. Usually to terminate a tenancy, they must have a reason, not that they no longer wish to rent to you. That's not a valid reason.

Court fees/attorney fees -- ONLY if the court order it. Otherwise they can't get them. Similarly you might be able to seek attorney fees to cover your legal expenses. Check you lease to see what it says about that.

Will your old LL appear in court with you (when/if it goes to trial) to support your assertions? But be aware, housing court might not care about the dispute between the two LLs. That's why you need your own lawyer, but it should not be your old LLs attorney. That's a conflict of interest. Your interests seem to align now, but it's possible something might happen where they do not.
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