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Responsible tenant antsy about senile landlord

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Responsible tenant antsy about senile landlord

Postby BenTheDad » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:36 pm

Hi,

My wife and I live with our two young daughters (2 and 4) in the same apartment for 6 years. It's a two-story home/townhouse in Bushwick with our landlady on the first floor and an additional renter in the basement. In general we get along well with our landlady and have always paid our rent on time. She owns her building and has lived there for 30 years, with extended family who live in the neighborhood.

She's gotten a bit more senile in the last year and gets angry about all sorts of things that never bothered her before. I got yelled at for the sound of my drill when I installed a coat hook. The girls love her like a grandmother, but when the 2-year old runs down to visit the landlady sitting on the front stoop I get chastised for not putting a shirt on her (when it's 90 degrees). The landlady says that she rules the house and the girls need to be presentable.

I'd shrug it off, but over the last several months she's added that she's going make us leave. "Sooner than we think." "It's coming."

Our initial lease was a simple sheet of paper with a few simple rules and no legal jargon ("please take out the trash, please keep the hall clean") Our rent was raised by $100 after 5 years. There wasn't even an end date specified on our lease.

So this is all something that I think can be worked out with her extended family, who help her out with repairs and whatnot. It's a good living situation.

But the threats to move us our make me nervous. Can anyone ease my worrying here? Can she remove up-to-date rent-paying tenants with children and no lease violations? Can I sleep well at night knowing that she can't go off the deep end without giving us adequate notice.

She'll probably forget her anger tomorrow and be warm and friendly with the girls. But the constant "threats" always make me a little uneasy.

Thoughts?
BenTheDad
 
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Postby TenantNet » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:33 pm

What is your current lease? How long? When does it expire?
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Postby BenTheDad » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:39 pm

The original lease was a very simple, page long contract with no "legalese" or an indication of an end date. Just a few rules about keeping the place neat, both of us signing. The landlady was looking for a stable family that would live there long term, with no thought about an end date. The last family had lived there for 8 years. The rent went up once after 5 years.
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Postby BenTheDad » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:46 pm

I suppose that if leases end at a year by default, then we've been month-to-month tenants for over 5 years.
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Postby TenantNet » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:42 pm

A lease has to contain certain elements, including a start and ending date. If those are missing, it's not a lease.

If then you are a month-to-month tenant. he LL must give you 30 days written notice in NYC to change or end the tenancy. If they gave you such written notice today (June 24), it would not be effective until the the next rent payment date 30 days after the notice, or August 1.
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Postby BenTheDad » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:43 pm

Is there any grounds for extending the vacate time in court, or requirements for what the written notice must contain in order to be legally acceptable?
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:41 am

There are court requirements, of course, and parties may negotiate for more time. But if you think they are serious, it's time to start preparing.
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