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Lease Renewal

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Lease Renewal

Postby loveislife » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:04 pm

My lease is up the end of this month (2/29), I phoned the managment's office 2/3 to tell them I did not receive a renewal lease. The person looked in my file and said there was a note in my file that said they were not renewing my lease. I then received a renewal lease in the mail 2/6, signed it with the increase in security check (hefty increase in rent of 6.85%). My question is if they sent me a renewal lease and I signed it and sent the extra security money in good faith, do they have to honor it. I realize that the renewal is not effective unless the landlord signs it and sends it back to me. Also, if they were not renewing my lease, wouldn't they have to send me some kind of notice? How would I know on 2/29 that they were not renewing it unless they gave me a formal notification?
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Postby ronin » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:58 am

Weelllllll.... Once they send you a renewal in writing and you sign and send the money. They should be bound by there offer since you have accepted it.

But once again, from general understanding of offer & acceptance, not detailed review of NY rental caselaw.

As for notice, once your lease is up you do not magically get evicted. You become a month to month tenant. Meaning that you continue on month to month but can be asked to move with 30-days notice. However, even then you can request extra time (up to 6 months) from the courts should it go that far. Generally, you could negotiate some terms if the LL really wants you out quickly- such as some moving expenses taken out of the rent, etc.

IMHO
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Postby loveislife » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:24 pm

Still have not received signed lease with LL's signature but they are telling us they are processing the lease. They have not cashed our extra security deposit check. We did receive a rent bill on our door as our neighbors did as well last night, but it has the amount due as the rent lease amount dated until 02/29/2012 for the month of March 2012, and states the amount is for use and occupancy, not base rent as it usually did. Is this standard until the lease is processed? I don't understand why it's taking so long, but the management says they are busy.
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:24 pm

Use and Occupancy is a term of art used by landlords to claim the "occupant" owes money, but it's not rent. I would send a check or money order and on the check/MO, I would write "Rent for March 2012" or for whatever month. If they cash it you can claim the LL "reinstated" the LL-tenant relationship. Of course that happens when you get to court, and you're a ways off. Bottom line is that you are not regulated, so you don't have automatic renewal rights. Check the fine print of the lease to see what it says about renewals. I do agree with Ronin, if they offered the lease and you accepted, that's a binding lease even if they have yet to sign it themselves and return it to you. I'm assuming you kept a copy of the lease that you signed and sent back, yes?
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Postby loveislife » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:40 pm

Yes, I did keep a copy of the lease that was signed along with a copy of the check we sent along with the lease as extra security. I would assume that use and occupancy is the terminology used if one does not have a lease that has been processed yet. The amount owed is the upcoming rent for the month of March 2012. The amount is the same as our lease that ends the end of Feb 2012.
Is there a certain time frame that the LL needs to notify the unregulated tenant of the new rent and the increased new rent amount does not need to be paid if the time frame is not met until the next 30 days?
I hope they are not upfront with us and really busy, and that is why they have returned the signed lease and cashed our check.
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:45 pm

I would assume that use and occupancy is the terminology used if one does not have a lease that has been processed yet.


No, not really. U&O is usually used when the LL claims the tenant is staying past the term of the lease, or in the context of a Holdover case, of it the LL has terminated an existing lease. It's a way for a LL to collect what would otherwise be known as rent while a court proceeding is ongoing. In reality, LLs use the term any time they wish.

It appears the LL is taking the position that they do not have to live by the lease you signed. If they claimed the new (increased) rent, that's an admission that the new lease went into effect.

There is a windows period, usually from lease termination to when the court case is commenced, where if the LL accepts "rent" then that would have the effect of vitiating the proceeding and reinstating the LL-tenant relationship. In your case the lease did not terminate, so it might be tricky to say the effect of their accepting "rent" but they are probably covering their position by calling it U&O.

Did they cash your check?

Did the check state "rent for March 2012" on it?
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Postby ronin » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:48 am

The management office is not necessarily lawyers here. They may be using "use & occupancy" in the sense the OP is taking it and not as a legal term. If they were being driven by a lawyer they probably would have never sent the lease to her at all. Their offer, and her acceptance, would create a strong presumption that there is a lease and that the LL is hiding it- even if they didn't give her a signed copy b/c it's there offer on top of a preexisting L&T relationship.

Basically I would advise not to get too upset and just wait and see. If they keep accepting the rent it really becomes moot after awhile.

IMHO
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