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Surrender Agreement!?!?

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Surrender Agreement!?!?

Postby mostra » Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:57 pm

Dear all,
We've been living in our apt. for more than 12 years. Our landlord got sick and a member of his family decided to sell the building. Unfortunately we all became month-to-month tenants while our landlord was in the hospital sick.
So now the building has been sold. The company that bought it informed us by phone that they want us out by the end of January, and sent us by email a "Surrender Agreement" that they want us to sign and return to them.

I uploaded the agreement for you to see here: http://www.movingimageresearch.org/surr ... eement.jpg

I find this absolutely humiliating.
Does anyone know what can happen if I refuse to sign?
I didn't refuse to leave when they told me in the phone, I was more in shock than anything!
We really don't want to move out, but after reading your forum I understand that as month-to-month tenants we have no rights. But do we have to be humiliated like this?
Please let me know. I just want to write them back that we'll be leaving by the date they told us, but that I refuse to sign the "Surrender Agreement"
Is that ok? Could you please advice?

Thank you so much in advance
mostra
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:33 pm

Re: Surrender Agreement!?!?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:42 pm

12 years ... are you certain you are not rent stab? Have you looked into the possibility that you should be? Is the bldg 6+ units? (or 5 units with a combinded unit?)

Do you have (did you have) a lease? Was it not renewed?

Was the sale proper? A relative cannot sell a building without power of attorney. Does the old LL know what happened? If he was a decent guy, he might not be OK with all this.

Did the new company send you a written notice on real paper? If not, do not say anything. Notifications by phone and email are not sufficient.

Do not sign anything like a surrender agreement.

How many tenants in the building? Why not join together and form a tenant association. You never know .... you might have rent stab rights and not know it. You can collectively consult with an attorney.

Worst case is that they will eventually get you out, but you can negotiate for time. I've seen time extensions of a year or more. As you are in possession, you have leverage at this time. Do not give it away under any circumstances.

If you refuse to sign, then the LL must give you a proper teremination notice (30 days in writing.). If you got it today, then the earliest the LL can make it effective is Jan. 31. That's why you don't say anything right now. Let them discover their mistake and maybe you can get it to roll over to the end of February. Just do not respond to them.

The LL would then have to take you to court (not until after the legal effective date) and commence a holdover proceeding. You would be at a disadvantage unless you think you might have RS rights. But again, you can probably get more time.

You do have some rights as M2M tenants, but yes, they are limited.

I would not write them back at this point. I would get on the horn to DHCR and ask for a rent history.
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Re: Surrender Agreement!?!?

Postby mostra » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:30 pm

Dear TenantNet,
Thank you for answering so fast!

My answers below:

1. Have you looked into the possibility that you should be?
We haven't and we'll follow your advice and check. Where do we go for that? To the DHCR?

2. Is the bldg 6+ units? (or 5 units with a combinded unit?)
Is 4 units

3. Yes, we use to have a lease but it was not renewed for more than a year now.

4. Was the sale proper? A relative cannot sell a building without power of attorney. Does the old LL know what happened? If he was a decent guy, he might not be OK with all this.
We loved our landlord and he definitively was a decent guy and I am sure if he knew all this he definitively wouldn't have agreed with all this. We were literally like family!
The way the sale happened is the tricky part: The landlord got a blood infection that went up to his brain. When I visited him in the hospital, when it has just happened he recognized me and remember everything, but then he'll forget for example that he was bed-ridden or in a wheelchair and he'll say something like he went to the bank that day (which is impossible since he was in a hospital!) So I am sure he was not in his 5 senses when he signed the Power of Attorney. (I saw the document online and you can clearly see that he couldn't even write his initials! Every single document online you can see he barely was able to touch the paper and barely make a small less than half-inch mini line (from a mortgage on July/2013, a Power of Attorney on August/2013, a satisfaction of Mortgage on Sept/2013, and a deed on Oct/2013) We know his signature and the line he draw on all documents may have been with his own hand but definitively not in his 5 senses for sure. Also is not coincidence that since June 2013 I've asked his family several times that I want to come to visit him, and they always invent a pretext to avoid that I do. So I don't know if the damage to his brain was permanent or not, but I don't think so, because he was a very strong man, not yet 70 and if the brain cells of my 90yr old grandfather regenerated, I'm sure our landlord's did for sure too, after more than a year now!
Another tricky thing is that the family has had him bed-ridden, and haven't promote that he does the exercises required to walk again. So he is totally dependent on them.

5. How many tenants in the building? 4 Tenants

6. Why not join together and form a tenant association.
Thank you for suggesting this, we'd look into that and we'll ask the DHCR about our rent history.

Thank you so much again, and any more info or advice you have after reading my answers please let me know!
mostra
 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:33 pm

Re: Surrender Agreement!?!?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:42 pm

OK, if only 4 units, then it would not be subject to rent stab, unless it used to be 6 units and at least two of those units were combined with others to reduce it to 4 units.

If the lease expired, then yes, you are M2M.

I don't know if you would have standing to challenge the sale - most likely not - but you never know. Why not just go see him without seeking family approval? This would not be the first time an elderly relative was manipulated. Google Anthony Marshall and Mrs. Astor.

If you were to challenge things, you would need someone with legal standing (another family member).

Develop a strategy. I've given you a few things to consider. Decide on the goal, whetehr to stay in the unit, or to buy some time.
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Can the new owner come and go every time they please!!!

Postby mostra » Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:23 pm

Dear TenantNet,
I wrote earlier in the week about being kicked out of my non-regulated apartment, where I've lived for more than 12 years.
A week ago the wife of the new owner asked to have access to the apartment, because she wanted to come with an architect to "inspect" the building. Only when they arrived we realized that what they were really doing was making a floor plan! This was on Tuesday Nov. 24
Then on Thanksgiving weekend, she sents an email on 3am in the morning on Sunday asking for "quick access" at 11:30am! I was away in Maine that weekend and told her so.
Now Friday she sent the email below. But now you can see how her attitude is becoming bossy and kind of rude:

Hello again. I would like to reschedule for this Sunday. Can you kindly have someone leave me a key by the front door or in the lock box in front of the building. I will be there at 10 am.
Thank you.
Have a nice day.
Best,


Why would I have to leave my key wherever she wants me to leave it?!?!!! and why she doesn't even ask first if I'll be at home?!!?? and if it would be possible?!!! Am I being over-sensitive? Do I have to let her in every time she wants!?!

Obviously she's excited with their new acquisition and is already dreaming of the changes she would like to make... (we heard her when she came for the first time with her architect, that they are planning to convert my apt. and the one downstairs in a 2 floor huge apt. and move in here)

But can she just trample over me anytime she wants? Specially at this very sad and painful time for us... (as I already expressed before we really don't want to move out but we know we have to leave by Jan 31 and we will but can we still ask for some respect?!!
Or because we are M2M tenats we don't even have that right?!!!
mostra
 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:33 pm

Re: Surrender Agreement!?!?

Postby TenantNet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:29 pm

There are access rules (see them in the Reference section), but if you don't comply the LL can take you to court seeking your eviction. Well, they are already seeking your leaving, so in my opinion, there's not much incentive for you to cooperate.

If you've accepted that you don't have a chance to stay there, and it's only a matter of time (see the discussion above about that), then you're waiting for the written notice (see your expired lease as to how the notice must be delivered -- some leases require certified mail), and of course you are not telling the LL that their oral notice is no good...

Then why cooperate? I would not do so. Even if the pressure gets great about that, I would tell them they can have access once you move out. Are they giving you more time? Are they giving you the last few months rent free to help in your search for a new place?

Yes, there are access regs, but you have to consider how they work in the real world.
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Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
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