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RS Apartment - LL requested unpaid rent

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

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RS Apartment - LL requested unpaid rent

Postby skar0913 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:03 pm

Hello,
Situation:
Unit is RS, Mother passed away in 2017, I applied for succession, after 1 1/2yr LL dropped case and started to accept my rent checks. But still refuses to give new lease and I refuse buyout offer. During the holdover proceeding he returned 5 months worth of rent checks 09/2017 to 01/2018.
Yesterday got a letter requesting that unpaid balance but didn't indicate which month's rent. Its the first time asking for it. Curious how long he can wait to ask for the money. Its been 2 yrs?

2nd question:
Since its a RS unit and he refuses to give me a lease. If I decide to move do I have to give a month's notice?

Thank You
skar0913
 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: RS Apartment - LL requested unpaid rent

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:32 pm

You've left out a lot of detail, but I'll take a stab. You applied for succession ... from whom? Did you go through DHCR? Did you have a tenant attorney (always recommended in succession cases)?

LL dropped case? What kind of case? where? Tells me little.

He's taking your rent checks. That's good, but at what rent? The rent your mother last paid? If not, then there might be an overcharge. Depends on how much - if any - difference there is. Rent can't go up without a lease, or court order.

LL refuses to give a lease. That might be good as rent can't go up. I would let sleepy dogs lie with that. Unless you have a pressing need to have a lease, I would just keep paying the old rent. They would need to give a new renewal lease using the proper procedure. Why remind the LL? Just hope he forgets.

Buyout? I'm assuming you want to stay in possession. So you said no thanks. Le that be as well.

Returned checks. That can happen before a holdover, but why would they do that after the holdover started? The rule is that acceptance of rent after the date of the termination notice and before the commencement of the holdover can cause the holdover case to be dismisses - the theory is that the acceptance of rent recreates the LL/tenant relationship.

But after the holdover started? Did they offer an explanation in writing why they returned the checks?

So I would hold on to the checks and keep the money in your bank account. Don't spend it for ANYTHING. Consider it forced savings. They could come back for it later (they have six years to do that), you make sure you have it just in case.

You said the LL has now done that and asked for the unpaid balance. Even though the statute of limitations has not expired, I would make him work for it. Me personally, I would not even answer the letter ... but that's me.

If they take you to court for it, the defense would be "tendered and refused." Get a legal opinion on whether that might hold up.

As for moving, first why? Unless you have a nice spread in LA or Montana waiting for you, finding a RS unit at a reasonable rent in very difficult these days. Don't give it up without some serious thought.

As for notice, I don't think you have to give any notice. You have no lease, and the LL would be happy (although they might not give back the deposit or any earned interest).

See this thread about notice for M2M tenants. The acceptance of your rent checks might make you considered to me M2M (with RS rights). However, the law has changed. See http://tenant.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=13981 and look at Part 1. Then look for "Changes to the Real Property Law" on page 39 at the bottom of the page.
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Re: RS Apartment - LL requested unpaid rent

Postby skar0913 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:27 pm

My half brother and I lived with my mom who had a lease for the unit for 20+ years.
After her death I submitted a letter to LL that I requested a lease renewal under succession.
He asked me to fill an rental application. I refused after consulting a lawyer.

Holdover proceeding was filed against me (Received 3 holdover notices sent to me, john doe and jane doe) LL lawyer returned the following 5 months of rent checks indicating to save the money as "will demand that his money be paid as use and occupancy" . The next 10 rent checks that I sent he kept and did not return.

I hired a lawyer and after a lengthly period of getting documents and a deposition. The LL recused himself from the holdover proceeding and the LL promptly cashed those 10 checks at once. He never sent me a new lease. The rent is the same as on the last lease given to my mother. (I paid the rent the last 3 yrs my mom was living).

The 3 times he offered a buyout it wasn't worth it.

I am now married and the place is too small. I found a place and want to leave and wash my hands of it and leave to place to my half brother. He is a senior citizen and my lawyer has indicated that my half brother would have a claim of succession if he choose to.
skar0913
 
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Re: RS Apartment - LL requested unpaid rent

Postby TenantNet » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:43 pm

Succession is complicated and you need to consult with an experienced tenant attorney (the operative words being experienced and tenant). Any lawyer off the street will not do.

Sometimes questionnaires are overly invasive and improper.

A rental application - not knowing what you meant - might mean for a new vacancy lease. That is not what you are seeking.

Only 3 notices? You should have gotten 9 (taped to the door, regular mail and certified mail, each to you and the John Doe's). but no matter.

Always "earmark" you checks (search the forum as it's been discussed) where in the memo field you indicate "rent for month of March 2020 and for no other months" Make copies of what you send and send by certified mail or USPS Certificate of Mailing (cheaper than certified).

How does a petitioner "recuse" oneself? I assume you mean he dropped the proceeding.

So keep paying the old rent - without a lease, the rent can't go up.

As for leaving it to your brother, I'm not sure how the new 2019 law covers it, but it used to be that after the first succession (you), the second succession was either not possible or had additional increases. I would have to research it. The new law might have done away with those penalties.

However, if there was no formal succession to you (i.e., the LL just dropped the matter), the a succession to your brother might be seen as the first succession.

Has your brother also had continuous occupancy for two years prior to your mother's passing (one year if he's a senior)? Courts are very skeptical in cases where there was a delay in seeking succession. That is why you MUST have an EXPERIENCED tenant attorney to walk you through things. You/your brother can also register with DHCR and that might make things easier to navigate. Just make sure to get all your ducks in order before you approach the LL.
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Re: RS Apartment - LL requested unpaid rent

Postby skar0913 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:36 pm

Yes It was an actual rental application and reading up the DHCR notice and talking with my lawyer this is not required for succession when I asked for it. So i refused.

Yes all my rent before the holdover proceeding and till this day have been earmarked and sent certified mail and I make copies of the tracking history as well.

Sorry during the holdover proceeding I would check my case on nycourts and the LL lawyer petition to be removed as the representing the LL.
The LL soon after cashed my remaining rent checks and been accepting my regular rent checks as well.

Yes he has continuous occupancy for 2 years prior to my mothers passing.
My brother didn't want to deal with the stuff, I just kept him informed of the case. When he asked to be represented by my LL he said no (as technically my brother could have hired his own lawyer during the holdover proceeding)


Thank You for the information
skar0913
 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: RS Apartment - LL requested unpaid rent

Postby TenantNet » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:07 pm

Do you mean NYCourts (Supreme Ct) or Ecourts (Civil and Housing Courts)?
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