TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



Suing your landlord

Rights for non-regulated tenants

Moderator: TenantNet

Suing your landlord

Postby shellsnyc » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:13 pm

Hi Guys,
New here and this is going to be a bit of a long-winded email so am sorry in advance. I am someone who really never knew my rights etc and just went along with whatever the landlord told me to do. I have lived in the same building for over 14 years along with the three other tenants in our building. NONE of us have ever had leases. Originally our building was under the loft law and was rent regulated. Our current landlord bought out those tenants and thus we became deregulated and no longer rent stabilized. However, he never brought our building or our apartments "up to code." We didn't know what our rights were and our building does have a certificate of occupancy. Now after tons of illegal rent hikes he is trying to force us all out by having us sign leases none of us want to sign (the lease gives him all the power and us none.) if we don't sign said leases we will be evicted. Essentially, I think he wants us out because he wants to sell the building and needs it in writing that the tenants will be out by such and such a date. What I'm wondering is this, has anyone sued their landlord? Each of us individual tenants have put thousands of dollars into our apartments making them what they are today while he has done nothing and never brought them up to "market rate" on his own dime not kept them up to code. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with counter suing a landlord for neglect or such? Or if you have had a similar situation or know of one. Any insight would be so greatly appreciated. Also, if you are going to just write me that I don't have a lease and am thus screwed, please don't am really only looking for positive insight at this point and feel beaten down by the whole situation all on my own! Thanks so much guys
shellsnyc
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:05 pm

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby TenantNet » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:01 pm

Not as long as some (but please try to use paragraphs so it's easier to read).

You already seem to know the history of rent and leases.

You cite the loft law, and to be honest, I'm not up on that. So you should get a more expert opinion on that. I don't see how you can become unregulated simply by a change in ownership.

I strongly suggest you get an expert opinion from a tenant attorney who knows the loft law. A number advertise on this site (and we do not get referral fees).

As for suing the LL, there are options. But again, being under the loft law might make things different than being just under regular RS.

1. You can sue in Housing Court in an HP Action, essentially asking the court to order the LL to make repairs.

2. For other issues as you mention, you might be required to go into Supreme Court (in NY that's the County Court). If you and the other tenants have the same issue, consider combining your efforts. The court will appreciate that, make you case stronger and make attorney fees less onerous.

Supreme Court is a general court whereas Housing Court is restricted as what may be sought. Usually it's the LL seeking eviction.

I know some tenant attorneys get a bit creative in bringing cases to Supreme Court (it also avoids the tenant blacklist). Before anything, be able to articulate what you would be seeking in such a case. Be specific. Is it certain repairs? Is it "up to code" however that is defined? Do you want a court order directing the LL to give you a RS lease (and a prohibition on seeking your eviction). Do you want overcharge awards? Damages?

While a good attorney can guide you in designing a strategy, I would think it through (with the other tenants) before you talk to a lawyer.

Or ... some people sue to establish a bargaining position on a buyout. That depends on the strength of your case, and how desperate the LL is in wanting to get you out.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8627
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby shellsnyc » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:16 pm

Thank you so much for your insight. I am now well and fully versed with the loft law and truly it's so weird once you are bought out by a landlord you loose your rights as well as rent stabilization.
We also, can't be rent stabilized because we are under three units so are just generally screwed.
I so appreciate your help and insight.
It just seem so unfair that we've paid so much for our own lofts and the owner simply gets to kick us out when he so obviously just wants to sell the building. But, without leases it's really difficult. You really feel like the "little guy" in times like these and it's hard to fully realize just how much power the landlord has!
shellsnyc
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:05 pm

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby Elevenant » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:18 pm

Since the unit is out of regulation, no rent hikes are illegal.
Elevenant
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:11 pm

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby TenantNet » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:19 pm

It's never simple, but there are often various hooks where tenants can seek RS. Cases like Roberts (Stuytown) and Altman often turned dire circumstances into hopeful rights.

I've been at this many many years and every day I see new issues and strategies. I wouldn't just give up, and I would get a consultation with an attorney that specializes in the loft law. Also see http://nyclofttenants.org/

Elevenant, welcome to the forum, but please try to be less terse, else one might see your comment as a troll. Things are never that simple, especially when LLs tell tenants their units are no longer under RS ... the truth is often the reverse.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8627
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby shellsnyc » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:47 pm

Thank you so much for your reply.
Yes, we are out of rent stabilization once we were bought out of the "loft law." Yet, our landlord never brought us up to code (ie my loft doesn't even os much as have a smoke detector.)
It is a wonder how my building even got a C of O in the first place. The only thing checked to convert it to multiple dwelling was smoke detector and sprinklers, simply crazy.
I am wondering if we as tenants though none of us ever had leases could come together now (after all having lived here for over a decade) with some sort of rights. Perhaps to say that the landlord was negligent etc.
It is crazy, NY always advertises these so-called "tenant rights" yet I can't find any, especially without a lease and no longer being regulated. is a very disheartening process especially considering all the money we've all put in not only in rents, but also in upgrading our apartments.
shellsnyc
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:05 pm

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby TenantNet » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:26 pm

OK, but please, stop being a victim, and look for reasons to seek restoration of your rights. You seem so willing to capitulate. Again, the tenants should consult a tenant attorney.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8627
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby shellsnyc » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:39 pm

Sorry, certainly not trying to play the victim AT ALL. Have simply come to an end in a lengthy personal search for rights for me and my fellow tenants. It is hard as none of us have had leases so are thus, month to month tenants. We fall with few rights since not regulated really in any manner. Of course, this in essence is totally our own faults.
Simply frustrating when you can't seem to find much footing to stand on as good tenants but very little protection.
That's all and sorry for misreading. Am exhausted and will seek legal counsel, was just trying to see if anyone on here had had a similar situation or experience as we are a "bit out of the ordinary" in where we fall tenant right wise and building wise being so small.
shellsnyc
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:05 pm

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby Elevenant » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:21 pm

Check that the building is registered with HPD and file complaints with 311 for whatever isn't up to code.
Elevenant
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:11 pm

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby ladybug67 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:24 pm

Thank you, Elevenant we have!
Appreciate the help
ladybug67
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby TenantNet » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:49 pm

Shellsnyc,

Speaking of the devil, the attached decision just floated our way today.

I have no idea if the underlying merits of the case have any similarities to your situation. But it raises a number of possible triable issues. But more so, it offers a strategy, at least on delay of an ultimate eviction, putting pressure on the LL to settle, and payment of U&O (fyi, U&O is a term used for "rent" during the pendency of a court proceeding).

The tenant was represented by tenant attorney Michael Kosek of the firm Ween Kozek.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8627
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby TenantNet » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:11 pm

Ladybug67, why are you responding? This is for Shellsnyc. Are you the same person? You should not be using two accounts if you are (and it would violate the forum rules). And if you are, let us know and we'll freeze on of the accounts - do not delete anything.

We do not know Mr. Kozek and his firm is not one of our advertisers, but you can refer him to this thread.

There are also other credible tenant law firms out there who know loft law, but we can't say who is best. But in general, from any attorney I want an accurate assessment of the case and possible outcomes, including difficulties. I avoid lawyers who tell me they will solve the problem in ten minutes.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8627
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Suing your landlord

Postby TenantNet » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:37 pm

Shellsnyc and Ladybug67. Your login data suggest you are the same person with two accounts. If so that would violate the forum rules.

More so (Ladybug), you just deleted one of your posts (after we asked you not to do so), thereby making our reply meaningless. That also violates the forum rules.

We put importance on thread continuity as the forum is also a teaching tool for other tenants in similar situations.

We have locked this topic due to this. Please review and respect the forum rules. If you wish to reply, please use Private Mail.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8627
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City


Return to NYC Non-Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest