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Possible Eviction

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Possible Eviction

Postby Melon » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:50 pm

Hi, late yesterday my landlord called me to say he wants us out of our apartment we rent from him and the wife. We have been with them 15 years and have a lease until September 2011. Just the 3 of us and always paid rent early. Wife is not working as we have a disabled child on SSI. I was recently laid off from my full time job and was the main source of income. My name is listed as tenant and wife and child as co-occupants.

On around Jan. 2011 and since then my ceilings leak when it rains (mainly bedroom and bathroom). Mold has formed in the bedroom closets and damaged our clothes and the ceilings of the bedroom and bathroom.
I called the health dept in Feb. 2011 but they said they don't have testing mold equipment but it looks like mold. We also have 3 sinks (kitchen, bathroom, shower) that when they are turned on, towels have to be placed behind because water gushes out and the insides under the sink are damanged with mold from leakage and puddles of water into a bucket we use to catch. On so many occassions I have asked my landlord to fix the problems and he refused to fix anything properly so the issue is ongoing. Instead, when he came twice to see for himself about this, he accepted half rent for payment which is supposed to be allowed until our lease ends this fall. So now says he wants the full amount for rent via phone message during the afternoon and we have until the end of this month to pay it.

Then yesterday he calls again and says he wants us out after we pay the full amount instead and then he will give us 3-5 days eviction notice and we will have to pay his attorney fees.. Last Friday night in our mailbox, I got a certified mail with his name addressed to us that says we have to sign for and it is a letter saying we have to vacate by 30 days since we cannot pay full rent for June and July.

Then I get a call this morning saying that he checked that I picked up the certified letter and he is coming to get the keys to the apartment and mailbox. I replied that I am in the process of making arrangements to leave and will give him the keys back at such time.

Then today, I get a 3 day notice to pay rent or quit the premises. I paid half rent as per agreement because the place is unlivable and I lost my job.

What should I do now? Thanks for any help.
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Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:03 pm

First, you have a lease, so don't fall for his intimidation. If he wants you out for non-payment, then he can take you to court and you can assert your defenses, all the things you said. Remember he can't evict without a court order, even after your lease ends.

Having said that he can decide to not renew the lease, and he will eventually get you out, but not in 3-5 days. If you lease ends at the end of September, even if he takes you to court for non-payment, there's no way anything will happen until the lease ends. There are procedures to follow, and right now, all the lawyers and judges are on vacation.

You can probably get more time, but remember in the end, if you are not stabilized, they will get you out.

In the meantime go after the Dept. of Health. Bloomberg has decimated the DOH workforce - along with other agencies, but you have to keep complaining to the top people.

EDIT: I forgot to say that only a court can order legal fees be paid to either party, and that's oly if there's a clause in your lease that provides for it. Many leases provide for legal fees for the LL, but the courts see that as operating both ways, So if you won a case, the LL might have to pay you legal fees.

While I encourage you to resist intimidation, the reality is that if you are not stabilized, the LL will get you out, it's just a matter of when, and you should be cognizant of the tenant blacklist.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:05 pm

Hi All
Check with a social worker or case manager if you have one. Also contact the org. related to your child's disability, they can be very informative on refferals. I'm under the impression there are special circumstances with the disabled on housings/evictions & that may buy you more time in moving and the cost of moving may be assisted.
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