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can a landlord force a tenant to pay rent in cash only?

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can a landlord force a tenant to pay rent in cash only?

Postby newport » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:27 am

I LIVE IN A THREE FAMILY HOUSE. THE LL IS ADAMANT ABOUT RECEIVING HER RENT BY THE FIFTH OF EVERY MONTH. THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM. THE PROBLEM IS SHE WANTS ME TO GIVE HER THE RENT IN CASH ONLY. THIS IS A PROBLEM FOR ME BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF RENT I PAY. IT COSTS ME BANK FEES TO WITHDRAW THIS MONEY. IVE ASKED HER ON SEVERAL OCCASSIONS TO TAKE MY BANK CHECK TO WHICH SHE HAS ALWAYS REFUSED STATING "HOW DO I KNOW YOUR CHECK WONT BOUNCE". I DONT HAVE A LEASE AND SHE HAS TURNED THE TOP TWO FLOORS ABOVE ME INTO A SRO. WHAT ARE MY LEGAL RIGHTS CONCERNING THIS MATTER? IM NOT BEHIND ON RENT AT ALL!
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Postby queensborough » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:29 pm

Many LL's ask for cash. I don't think there are any laws that forbid them from asking for cash. If you are paying in cash, then BE SURE YOU GET A RECEIPT. This is your only proof of rent payment. LL's collect cash because they don't have to report it as income.

As for SRO's in a three family house, I would check with your local agencies to see if this is legal. This doesn't sound right to me, and in some cases it can be dangerous. Call the fire department and have them do an inspection of the building. People can be killed (and have been killed) in fires when there are exits and/or windows blocked.
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Postby Cranky Tenant » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:47 pm

My understanding is that there are no legal three family houses in New York City. Anything larger than a two family house is considered a multiple dwelling. See the entries about Illegal Conversions in the Tenant's Reference Section

http://tenant.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4954
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Postby NYHawk » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:21 pm

Landlords must provide tenants with a written receipt when rent is paid in cash, a money order, a cashier's check or in any form other than personal check of a tenant. Where a tenant pays the rent by personal check, (s)he may request in writing a rent receipt from the landlord. The receipt must state the payment date, the amount, the period for which the rent was paid, and the apartment number. The receipt must be signed by the person receiving the payment and state his or her title. (Real Property Law §§235-e)

http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/faq/rents.html
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Postby TenantNet » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:30 pm

That's the receipt law.

But what if -- as in this case -- the tenant desires to pay in other than case, i.e., check (personal, bank or certified), money order, or other form of draft that is normally considered legal tender. Can a LL refuse a check (in the prime tenant's name) without cause? Or a certified check?
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Postby NYHawk » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:01 pm

According to the RGB's web page:

"Can my landlord demand rent payment by money order only?

No. According to . . . DHCR . . . cash, money orders, personal checks and cashier's checks are all valid ways to pay your rent, but your landlord cannot demand a specific form of payment unless the tenant agrees to it in a stipulation in Housing Court."



http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/faq/rents.html#entitled

So, I'd opine that a LL cannot demand to be paid only in cash. Smells like tax fraud to me.
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Thanks for all of your replies

Postby newport » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:32 pm

Thankyou all for your replies, it will definately help with this situation and I plan to follow every ones advice. I would like to apologize for all caps previously. I had no idea that it is considered rude and yelling. Im new to this computer forum thing. again I appreciate it. I will definately let you all know what progress ive made. Again thanks
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Postby TenantNet » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:27 am

Just a caveat. The RGB FAQ cited by NYHawk is just that, a FAQ. It in itself does not carry the force of law. It does cite DHCR, but doesn't specify if that's in the RSL, RSC or wherever. (I agree with the observation, but question the legal authority).

More over, DHCR covers rent stab units and the posters apartment is not stabilized.

One way to push the issue is to offer the rent by check or MO (which ever is convenient). When/if the LL refuses, then keep the money in escrow and let the LL take you to housing court for non-payment. It's a way to force the issue, but I can't say how the court would rule. And upping the ante exposes you to other things, like blacklisting and that the LL could just evict you as you don't have RS lease protections. ANd LL's in 2/3 family homes (who might be breaking the law already) might not know about illegal evictions, so the level of nastiness and harassment might increase.

So you would have to decide how far you want to push the issue.
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a crackhead just walked in my door!!!!!

Postby newport » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:00 am

My sister was leaving my apt to get into a cab and go home. My eldest daughter who was also visiting at the time walked outside with her to the cab. At the same time a man and his girlfriend ( i guess that's who she was) walked up to the house stating they rented the room on the first floor. The only apt on the first flr is mine by the way. This man was in possession of a supermarket shopping cart and a regular shopping cart full of bottles. My daughter told him to speak with the super that lives in the basement with others I might add that also rent rooms and have cooking facilities. The man who looks like he slept on the street for the past five years walks eight past my daughter and right into my apt before she could stop him!!!! any thoughts? Oh the super asked him right in front of me why he had not called him first and told me it was a mistake!!! My family and I are out of the house for a good part of the day, is it possible that my apt is being rented for hours to the unsavory without my knowledge? I am mortified and terrified.
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Postby Cranky Tenant » Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:11 pm

If you really believe people may be entering your apartment while you're out, then you should change the tumbler on your lock, immediately. Tumblers are available at local hardware stores and are much cheaper than changing the entire lock.
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already done

Postby newport » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:13 pm

Changing the locks was my first thought. I didn't go to work today and there was a parade of people in and out of here all day looking at these illegal rooms. I called 311 and made a complaint. I'm awaiting the outcome.
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:18 pm

Use 311 only to get it on record. Don't expect any action. Read the post on illegal conversions in the forum's reference section and if you are in Queens, use the links on the bottom of that page.
http://queensbp.org/content_web/housing ... apts.shtml
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I've read about the illegal conversions before

Postby newport » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:55 pm

I know about the status of illegal conversions and how hard it is to obtain evidence. I'm going the extra mile to prove my case because I know i'm going to wind up in court. My landlords response to my concerns where if you are unhappy, then move out. While this is my intention I am certainly going to sue for at least some of my money back.
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