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Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

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Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby ian6385 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:46 pm

Hello,

I had a previous post about my ongoing fight to restore my apartment to rent stablized status and that is still ongoing.

When the most recent lease ended, I moved out and my roommates stayed despite not getting renewed because we all think they should until DHCR comes back with a determination. There is legal precedent for this and our lawyers know this. I moved out to live in my own apartment and I got a really good deal elsewhere.

My name was included in a Notice to Quit where they basically gave us 45 days to move out.
I informed the landlord and their lawyers that I moved out multiple times in written certified mailings within the Notice.

Two weeks after the deadline for the Notice to quit they attempted to serve me at my old residence via mail for a holdover.

I had to retain a lawyer and now I got a pretty intimidating email from the old landlord saying "even though you moved out you'll still be responsible for $15,000 of rent when we win"

So i guess my question is... If a notice to quit is served on individuals demanding each one move out, why is it that I'm still legally responsible for the other two who did not move out?

Is this retaliation?
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:18 pm

Your atty can probably force the old LL to stop communicating with you. If each side is represented, the lawyers are supposed to talk, not the clients. More than that, it might give rise to a harassment complaint.

As to the case itself, were the other roommates on the lease themselves, or were they just roommates?

What did you do when the old lease ended?
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby ian6385 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:22 pm

One of the other roommates was on the lease.

When the old lease ended I found a roommate to take my old spot and moved out.
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:13 pm

At the time did the LL accept the new person on the lease and agree to release you from the lease? Did the LL sign a new lease with the remaining tenants?

Normally a tenant is liable for the rents for the full term of the lease.

Look at the original lease and look for language "joint and several." That's in most leases and means if the LL can't find one tenant to sue, he can then go after those he can find.
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby ian6385 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:31 pm

The lease simply ended. There was nothing to release me from because the lease ended. The roommates chose to remain and squat. The landlord did not renew the lease or establish a month to month. I read the lease and found that clause but I don't see how it applies to me since they know I don't live there anymore.
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:12 am

Just playing devil's advocate. In a non-regulated environment, the LL could argue that with the actual lease ending, it could then become a month-to-month lease (on its own) on the same terms. The LL does not have to make it a M2M. The LL can end that with a 30-day written notice (in NYC). Look at http://tenant.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5024 and look at the Real Prop. Law provisions.

If rent stab, in the old days the LL could claim the lease was "deemed renewed," but that was changed, either by the courts or by DHCR (or both). See https://goo.gl/h7oJI0 --but double check that it applies to all of NYC, it might not.

That the roommates just stayed on might be seen as your staying on for purposes of liability.

One thing I would do is see what the LL's legal strategy is on this. It's hard for me to say it's one way or another as I don't know the legal position the LL is taking. Here I'm just offering possible explanations.

One thought is that if the unit is RS (or DHCR decides that it is), things might change as for liability.

You say you retained an attorney. Has he/she explained any of this to you?
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby ian6385 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:31 am

He hasn't explained that to me yet because he is focused on staying the proceeding. I did read your link though. The landlord did send a 30 day termination notice before our lease was up and rejected my roommates check to establish the month to month tenancy after that. So I''m not sure a month to month was properly established even though the landlord is now trying to claim it was.
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:10 pm

Is the LL actually saying there's a M2M in his court papers? If not, then he's not making the claim. And if not, I would think that a motion to dismiss for failing to state a cause of action might be appropriate. (that's just a guess on my part as I haven't seen any of the papers ... and of course, I'm not an atty). If you're paying this atty for his work, he can surely make a better assessment than I can and explain your options. Is he/she experienced in landlord/tenant matters?
And why isn't the LL going after the tenant who was on the lease after you left?
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:52 pm

If you have a joint and several lease, then you're jointly and severally liable, unless all parties agree to sever one party from the lease. So, in essence, until you all leave, effectively none of you have left. It's the same as if one of you had trashed the apartment - the landlord could come after all of you for damages.
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby ian6385 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:59 pm

I get the joint and several thing now although I would argue my contract was not in Plain English like its supposed to be according to statute.

I guess my confusion comes from the fact that our lease terminated on June 31st, 2016. My roommate tried to establish a month to month tenancy by paying rent on July 1st but the payment was rejected because legal action was pending despite that on July 1st there wasn't. Then two weeks later there was a 30-day notice to quit that said we were month to month even though no payment had been tendered.

But based on the links I was shown above, a payment needs to be tendered to establish a month to month. In other words, both parties need to agree to establish a month to month.
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Re: Being Evicted From An Apartment I Don't Live In?

Postby TenantNet » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:32 pm

This might be an important point. Why was legal action pending on July 1st? Was it a non-payment or a holdover? If the latter, the LL would have had to terminate the lease, and that might make any M2M claim invalid. A M2M is predicated on the LL's acceptance of rent after the initial lease runs out.

Again, you should get a better explanation from your attorney. You are paying him money, yes? He has the papers and the timeline; we don't.
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