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Holdover Proceedings in NYC Eviction Defense

Discussion in 'Eviction, Recovery of Premises' started by sickandtired123, Aug 24, 2009.

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  1. sickandtired123

    sickandtired123 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Location: NY, NY


    Great forum what a wealth of info. I didn't see any info on holdover proceedings for New York City in the archives so I thought I'd leave my first post to the experts at hand.

    My situation (not unlike everyone else) is unique in that I've had an "ongoing battle" with my landlord for some time and its finally come to a head. Here's what's happened. Its a little long but I'll try to make it as entertaining as possible.

    Last September my landlord did a gut-renovation on the apartment directly above me. Aside from the unbearable noise, we were getting dust and debris that was coming through the ceiling and landing in our apartment. This went on for 5 months.

    I attempted to contact a lawyer to sue for not providing "quiet enjoyment" of my apartment and for breaking the warrant of habitability of the apartment. I was advised that it would cost me more in legal fees then it was worth and I should try to resolve with my landlord.

    I informed my landlord that due to the construction I would be incurring an additional $200/month in cleaning fees for the duration of the construction which I was going to pass through to them. When the construction was finally complete, they owed me $1000. Also, they never cleaned out the sealed air vent which was holding back the dust and debris. To this day!

    In the meantime, they claimed that we were paying our rent late and incurring late fees. Rather than fight the late fees, I deducted the amount from what they owed me. They wiped clean the late fees but never paid me the additional fees that I was owed.

    I did not pursue it at the time as I figured I would use it to negotiate my rent lower when it came time to renew my lease.

    When I was sent my new lease to renew in May, I was astounded to see that there was a rent INCREASE in it. I immediately called them and asked why they thought they were entitled to an increase when rents were down close to 20% across the board?

    They claimed that they always do that but in fact would be negotiating the price down as they had been doing with other tenants.

    It was during this time that we found out my wife was pregnant and decided that we should perhaps look for a 2 bedroom. I told my current landlord and they actually agreed to try to help me find a larger apartment within their network (they own/manage nearly 100 buildings in NY). So a month goes by and we haven't found a new apt.

    I say hey its time we renegotiate the rent on my current apartment while we we look for others. I put in a bid and they said they'd get back to me with a counter. 2 more weeks go by and 1 month before the lease is up, they come back and say, " we're not going to negotiate", effectively stealing 1 months time for me to find a new apt had they been truthful from the beginning.

    They then agreed to not raise my rent and keep it at current the current level. But they never sent me a new lease to that effect. I insist that I be given a rider that will allow me out of the lease with 30 days notice. They say no I have to assign the lease. I say no rent is too high its unassignable. they disagree. So July ends and I haven't signed the lease, nor have they sent me a corrected one.

    I send them a check for my rent at the price we agreed upon. A week later I get the check back and they say that they are starting holdover proceedings against me.

    So I call the LL and tell him that he has negotiated in bad faith, has basically lied through the entire process and that I wouldn't sign an incorrect lease. He told me to come into the office where we would simply "cross-out and initial" the new price on the first lease, rather than sending me the corrected version. I reluctantly agree.

    when I realized the next day that this wouldn't suffice as i have an out-of-state guarantor on the apartment (started 7 years ago and has been on ever since) and the guarantor refused to sign an incorrect lease, I immediately called them and left 2 messages. This was on a Thurs. No one returned my call.

    On monday I received notice to show up in tenant court as I was being evicted. They claim that I owe Aug rent in an amount $500 more then what we had ageed upon, as well as late fees. It was then that I immediately scrambled to find new a new apt and spent a lot of money trying to do so. I signed a new lease for a great new apt. and will be moving out by month end.

    The day after I signed the new lease, they fax over a corrected copy of the old lease informing me that the court proceedings "can go away" if I sign the lease. I inform them that I'm not renewing and moving out.

    They have my security deposit and I'm afraid that I won't see a dime of it. There is NO damage to the apt other than what they have caused thru their various construction projects. If I go to court and judge requires me to pay their amount, I can't afford to as I had to spend everything just to find a new place on such short notice.

    What monies am I actually liable for? I have to go to court this Thurs and can't afford a lawyer. What should I do???:confused::confused::confused:
  2. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    You need to attend the court date this Thursday and the judge will decide who owes whom what (we can't guess what this decision will be but New York landlord/tenant laws tend to favor the tenant).

    If the judge rules in their favor, whatever amount of the judgement can be taken out of the security deposit. At move out or within a "reasonable period of time" (New York, unlikely most other states does not have a set period of time when the landlord/management has to notify the tenant of this, only specifying this must be done within a "reasonable period of time) your landlord needs to notify you of the status of your security deposit:


    If you are concerned that management will keep even more of your security deposit for "damages" above normal wear and tear, make certain the place is clean at move out and take lots of pictures that might need to be used as future evidence to dispute any damage claims.


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