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10 Day Notice to Cure

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby brooklynstabilized » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:02 am

Hi Guys,

So after being constantly harassed by our Landlords, they finally had a lawyer mail us a 10 Day Notice to Cure. Of course they lied about most of the things listed. They said my dog is a lease violation even though I had him for 11 years with the prior Landlords permission. They also said he defecates, and urinates in the hallway which is 100% not true. They have cameras in the hallways so I don’t know why they’d be stupid enough to outright lie about that. They also said we assaulted and harassed tenants which is another lie. All of the remaining tenants are in the Tenant Association with. They also claim we smoke in the apartment even though I’ve told them multiple times that my Mom quit a long time ago when she was diagnosed with COPD. Plus there is nothing about no smoking on our lease. They’re trying to use that to claim we’re creating a nuisance. They want to get us out because we’re rent stabilized, and pay very low rent. They also are threatening another Tenant in the building that’s rent stabilized saying she has to move when her lease is up because she’s illegally here.

I contacted our Tenant Association attorney, and he believes we have a good case of retaliatory eviction since we complained to Department of Buildings, and HPD which are listed on their site. They had construction workers doing work illegally without a permit. No notice to Tenants, and no Tenant Protection Plan registered either. They ripped out my back window sill which leaves us unable to fully close the storm window letting cold air come in all day. They also had their contractors cut our Verizon Fios cable, and they also did it to another Tenant in our Tenant Association in another Apartment. When I emailed them to let them know what their contractors did, they simply said they’re sorry about that but there are to be no wires hanging from the building, and no holes drilled in the windows. They also said the Verizon tech cant have access to the yard or basement knowing full well they need access to make the repair. We had the Verizon tech come anyway and he patched it together, but we have to leave our living room window open an inch to let the wire in since they won’t allow any holes drilled. I have video of the Landlords wife yelling outside our door at 1:00 am saying we smoke and it’s disgusting and that they’re not renewing our lease because we’re a nuisance. The camera shows we were sleeping at this time. They threatened us multiple times to not renew our lease.

The latest harassment issue was in December their contractors were in our basement right below us using power tools all day. They blew our fuse 4 different occasions. We emailed them to let them know what their contractors were doing and of course they denied it and said it was my mothers TV that blew the fuse. I told them a TV doesn’t blow a whole apartments fuse, and informed them its back up because the contractors put another fuse in. They claimed it just came back up on its own which is ridiculous because once you blow a fuse in an apartment you have to put a new one. I contacted Con Ed and purposely told them to keep this on record. They told me I would have to wait for my bill to see if it’s higher than normal. Turns out it went from $74.00 with a little over 200 kilowatts to $150.00 saying we used 666 kilowatts. That’s proof right there. The only time we ever use anything close to 666 kilowatts is in the summer when we run our air conditioner all day. This seems to me like textbook retaliatory eviction, but I don’t know how the judge will see this. What are your thoughts on our chances of fighting this eviction?

FYI.. Con Ed is scheduled to investigate February 11th, but the contractors are no longer working due to the building having a Stop Work Order, and Partial Vacate order due to the illegal and dangerous work that their contractors were doing, which is why they’re trying to evict us now. Thanks.
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Re: 10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby TenantNet » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:23 am

Your LL is lying about things? I'm shocked!

If this goes to trial, it's the LL's obligation to prove allegations. Even if true, some items may not amount to such a nuisance that one could be evicted (although some might).

As for smoking, well sure, your mother quit a long time ago. But if you can does she have doctor's notes that can verify this?

But keep in mind that as rent stab tenants, LLs cannot change the terms and conditions of your lease, and that includes smoking - unless it is illegal or prohibited when you took occupancy. It's can still be illegal in the public areas of the building, but not in apartments if not in the initial lease.

For the dog, if you've kept him openly and notoriously more than 90 days, then it's OK. There are pages on this site that go more into detail about the right to a pet. Assuming you walk the dog, that's openly and notoriously.

What you can do is send the LL a certified letter RRR that denies all the allegations. State they have not occurred and are the LLs imagination, or that they have been cured if that's the case.

Yes, there are provisions for claiming retaliatory eviction, but that is limited. After six months, that protection goes away (so complain about something every five months). Sounds like you have many issues for which to lodge complaints. I would consider a harassment complaints (not the same thing as ret. eviction) and I would try to do that with the various tenants in the building. Strength in numbers.

Let's hope your attorney is an experienced tenant attorney, not some guy who also does slip and falls.
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Re: 10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby brooklynstabilized » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:54 am

Apologies for making multiple threads. I’m just extremely frustrated. Now the Landlord had their lawyer send us a 10 Day Notice to Termination saying we have to move by March 13th because we didn’t cure the issue. They literally used the FDNY coming to our apartment as evidence even though the Landlords wife instructed the HPD issued Fireguard to call the FDNY on us. For one, he wasn’t in the building as he was supposed to be so even if we were smoking there is no way he smelled it like they claim in the notice. I have her on video running outside on February 14th at 10:35pm to get him from his car. He comes in the hallway with her, and you hear him on audio calling the FDNY. The FDNY found no smoke condition or smell of cigarette smoke.

They’re also trying to evict another Tenant claiming “private use” even though this is a big 8 family building. And just yesterday they harassed another Tenant who is in our Association because he had family members over. The Landlords wife, who is the architect of the harassment actually knocked on this guys door and said they’re making too much noise and her Mother (who doesn’t live in the building and is visiting) is not feeling well, and that they’ll call the police. The police actually came by a few hours later which I have on video from my bedroom security camera with the audio. It’s extremely obvious that they’re trying to get rid of the Rent Stabilized tenants in the building because we pay low rent, and because we filed complaints to HPD and DOB. Do you think we should all get a Tenant Lawyer and sue them for harassment? What legit options do we have? Our Tenant Association attorney is only in an advisory role so there are no repercussions for their actions which makes them feel comfortable to continually harass us. Please let us know our options. Thanks.
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Re: 10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby TenantNet » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:25 am

It was hard to follow your previous post, but you said something to the effect that your atty (advisory only) told you not to respond to something. That may be bad advice. Of course it depends on who said it, what it said and if it's part of a proceeding. Depending on those factors, an absence of a response might be inferred as an admission and get you in even more trouble. So be careful.

OK, so they sent you a Notice of Termination. That is a necessary prelude to a holdover proceeding, i.e., they say if you don't move, they will terminate your lease, you will be a "holdover" and they can commence a proceeding in Housing Court.

Of course, DO NOT MOVE.

First, from now on, save every slip of paper (including envelopes for postmarks) and document everything both day and time. Keep a journal of what happens and who says what.

Did they send you a Notice to Cure before they sent you a Notice of Termination. In many cases, both documents would be required. A tenant attorney can tell you - based on what you have received - if a Notice to Cure is also required.

Did either of these documents lay out facts of what they are upset about? Did they say - with specificity - that you were smoking in your apartment and cite a day and time? All of the allegations have to be fact specific. They can't just say "you were smoking." They can't offer just conclusions; they have to cite facts.

As an aside, unless your original lease prohibits it, as a RS tenant, you have a legal right to smoke in your apartment. It's not against the law and not against your lease. LLs cannot change the terms or conditions of your original lease. So it either has to be illegal by law (it isn't) or in violation of your lease.

Did either of these documents say either a) that they facts they cite are in violation of your lease, or b) the facts they cite are a nuisance? What is stated can make a difference. This is important.

For either of these documents, how were you served? Was it handed to you, or taped on your door? If the latter, did you also get the same notices in the mail (both regular and certified mail)? This is important as well.

If you got a Notice to Cure (or even just a Notice of Termination), you should send the LL a certified letter denying that you were smoking. DO NOT get defensive about it (like the tone of some of your posts). Just state it as a fact. Neither you nor your mother smoke (no history needed). Just deny it. If you're not smoking, there is nothing to cure, and ergo, anything they have cited has been cured.

Will this stop a LL bent on harassment? Probably not. But it will help to get a case kicked out of court.

We have no idea what a Fireguard is.

8 families is not a large building, at all. A building is not rent stabilized; individual units can be RS, or not.

Remember what I said about extraneous stuff? Most of what you say in your second paragraph has nothing to do with your case.

You could file harassment with DHCR (don't expect a lot though), or claim harassment as a defense in your court proceeding. Both the state and city claim to have new harassment units, but we're very skeptical of these - even if they do exist. Still, check with your local elected officials or community boards to see if they have contacts at any of these offices.

BTW, in some of my comments, I'm not intending to be nasty, but to stress you have to take things seriously, focus in on the real issues and get organized. And if you can, then yes, I would consult with a real tenant lawyer - one who is in housing court every day. Show them the documents you've received. Organize them well; don't just create a pile.
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Re: 10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby brooklynstabilized » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:58 pm

Thanks. I understand and appreciate your help. I just included the other Tenants being harassed because it shows that they’re not just harassing us, but the others that formed the Tenant Association as well. Wasn’t sure if this was good evidence to show in court. The Fireguard issue is that because we reported the Landlord to the Department of Buildings and HPD about having their contractors doing illegal construction without a permit, HPD forced the Landlord to have Fireguards in the building 24/7 because they issued a Stop Work order, and Partial Vacate order. The Landlords have been pressuring the FIreguards to knock on our door asking us not to smoke even though we don’t. They had one FIreguard knock at almost 11 pm at night, which I have on video and audio. Another FIreguard was befriending the Landlord because the Landlord promised him work at his job, and they exchanged numbers. I heard this same Fireguard tell the Landlord that they should call FDNY on us. This was in January. I even have the email that I sent to our Tenant Association attorney alerting him of what the Fireguard said. Then on February 14th they had him call the FDNY on us. This is a sticking point because they did send a Notice To Cure letter from their lawyer with nothing but lies including the smoking thing. THen when they sent the NOtice of Termination letter they specifically said the HPD fireguard had to call the FDNY on us because he smelled smoke. I literally have video of the Landlords wife running OUTSIDE to get the Fireguard because he wasn’t on post in the building. He was in his car. YOu can also hear him calling the FDNY. This proves that they were using the Fireguards to harass us and make up the smoking thing because the FDNY found no evidence of smoke or cigarette smoke. Do you think this would be admissible in court?
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Re: 10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby TenantNet » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:29 pm

What's happening to other tenants really isn't germane to your issue. Even your video might not be admissible in court, and even then only in a trial. You will want to avoid a trial and try to get the case dismissed before it starts. That has to be your primary strategy.

I didn't say earlier, the best way would be to hire a tenant attorney to write a strong letter to the LL or his/her attorney, essentially threatening them with a bunch of dire consequences in case they continue what they are doing. You can do that in lieu of your denial letter I mentioned above. Of course it depends on what documents you received and what they say (you haven't told us that).

You still haven't said what a fireguard actually is.

Let me say again. You have received legal documents. You need to deal with them. What the fireguard said or did is irrelevant.

OK, so you did get a Notice to Cure, almost three weeks ago. Did you do anything? It's still not too late, but you need to respond. Just deny everything, or get a tenant lawyer to do that (and threaten the LL at the same time).

All this other stuff doesn't matter. Reread what I said above. Even if you did smoke, it's legal. As a RS tenant, unless it was in your original lease, you have a right to smoke within the confines of your apartment.
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Re: 10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby brooklynstabilized » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:04 pm

We never responded because our Tenant Association Attorney told us since we didn’t do what they stated we don’t have to respond because it’s not true. They told us to wait for the Landlord to start the eviction process. He’s actually pretty good and knowledgeable from what I’ve been told. They basically complained saying that my Mom smokes constantly and it goes into their unit, and that tenants complain about it which isn’t true because the tenants are in our Tenant Association. They also said our bedroom is cluttered with newspapers all over the floor which is also ridiculous. Oh and we make noise all hours of the night even though I wake up at 5am every morning for work. They also said that we assault and threaten tenants because the wife of the Landlord got into an argument with my Mom when my Mom opened the door because an inspector knocked. She ran up to my Mom and yelled at her that she can’t go in the basement which my Mom can’t even do because she’s disabled, then she said “You need to stop smoking, I smell it from your apartment”. My Mom never threatened her or assaulted her, but she must have told her lawyer that. They also said my dog defecates in the hallway and urinates even though they have cameras and my dog never did something like that ever. It’s just crazy to be honest. Oh and a fireguard is basically a security guard that was placed in the building by Housing to make sure contractors weren’t entering to do any work in the building while the Partial Vacate order is in effect. We also still have violations listed on the HPD site that they were supposed to fix and haven’t so to me this is retaliation for complaining to Department of Buildings and Housing.
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Re: 10 Day Notice to Cure

Postby TenantNet » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:29 pm

Seems like this attorney is giving you bad advice. Sure, you don't "have" to respond, but if you did, it might make the case go away sooner. I've done this many times with my LL. Once the case starts, things change. And lawyers get expensive.

The language of the Notice to Cure and Notice of Termination is important. You haven't shared that with us. But either way to not respond can be inferred - by at least the LL's lawyer - as an admission. You haven't answered our question about manner of service either.

"Mom smokes constantly and it goes into their unit" - no facts. No dates and times.

"They also said our bedroom is cluttered with newspapers all over the floor" - again, no facts.

Seems these documents are designed to get you hot and bothered. That's what LL's do.

I've been at this 30 years and have never heard of a fireguard. What you call "Housing" (you don't say if it's DHCR, DOB or HPD) most likely has no legal authority to require a security guard as far as I know. A vacate order would likely have been placed by DOB (not HPD), but they don't put in security guards. Does that mean some tenants have had to leave?

We really can't give you more information as there is a lack of information coming from you. I strongly suggest you contact a lawyer who practices in housing court. A number of tenant lawyers advertise on this site, but other capable tenant lawyers are out there as well.
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