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Court proceedings impending

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Court proceedings impending

Postby nycdude22 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:43 pm

Hello, I rented a Bronx apartment for one year. I submitted an intent to renew via email, and continued living there through December (past the original year). However, I, nor my guarantors, ever signed a new lease. This new lease would be valid though the end of May.
During my first year, my apartment was robbed through a window whose lock was broken - I lived on the first floor. After the robbery, the landlord placed Wooden dowels in the windows to prevent opening.
After the first lease expired, and I continued living there - I was robbed again. This time they just broke though the windows. After this the landlord decided to place bars on the windows. However, I felt the apartment was unsafe, and vacated. I paid the rent (while not living there) for January and February, and did not for March. They are now pursuing court proceedings. Based on this, do I have any case?

On a side note, throughout my stay, there were many instances where I was without heat, hot water for up to 2 weeks. Furthermore, I believe the police report contains that the burglars came through a window which could not lock in the first robbery.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:31 pm

Putting aside the robbery and heat issues, what is the LL seeking in the court case? What court is it in? When you sent the email intending to renew, what exactly did the email say? If you had signed a new lease, what would be the starting and ending dates?
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Postby nycdude22 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:42 pm

I believe they will pursue March, April and May rents, and their legal fees. As a reminder, I have been vacated since January 1, and I paid January and February rents.

The lease renewal email was 7 months prior to the leases expiration, and asked who was staying, and if they could show the apartment to prospective tenants. I replied that I planned on staying.

The lease would have covered from 6/1/09 until May/31/10
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Postby nycdude22 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:45 pm

Also I would assume it would be in the Bronx court? There has been no formal filing, but the threat is there and I'm not backing down from it, and I also may countersue for their negligence in the first robbery if there is a case.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:13 pm

Your other issues would be defenses and counterclaims, but IMHO the real issue is if the email you sent was sufficient to bind you. Without a written renewal, the LL will rely on that. Did you send them any subsequent message that you changed your mind? Under rent stabilization, there's a thing called the deemed lease where if a tenant receives a renewal offer and doesn't sign and return it, the LL can "deem" the lease renewed.
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