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NYC Tenant move out - no signed contract & last mo's rent

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by UWS-Tenant, May 9, 2020.

  1. UWS-Tenant

    UWS-Tenant Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Area: NYC UWS, preferential rent and (possibly stab, need to check)

    Background:

    1. Been living in this apt for a while, after my brother moved out (early 2017). I never had any contract under my name.
    2. For the recent contract term starting from Sept 2018, I never signed/returned the lease back to the landlord which is set to end this September 2020
    3. March 2020 rent was paid, full rent $2000
    4. Early March, I gave notice to my landlord that I am leaving at the end of April
    5. Notified her about it and she did not oppose.
    6. I left early in the first week of April.
    7. She walked through and checked out the apartment with her husband, and claimed it was clean.
    8. I asked the LL that I would like to use the deposit ($1800) in their hands and I’d be paying just the difference of $200 ($2000 rent - $1800 deposit= $200 difference)
    9. She did not accept it. She said I will need to send her to full amount
    10. She also demanded multiple times that I sign and return the contract (for her own records she says.. but I am not interested in doing so as it might make me obligated to pay until Sept 2020)
    11. Its May now, and April rent has not been paid. She is constantly calling and leaving voice mails. She is threatening to go to collection agency to get her money.
    12. I told her that I am willing to pay her $200 and she can keep the deposit to close the deal, and she keeps refusing it.
    Questions:
    • Is there a way she can get collection agency involved? There is no signed contract. Can they use something else as an evidence to make their case? Its in NYC and there are some governor’s exec orders that might protect me under this case? Not sure
    • I have good intentions and asking to close the term by paying it off using my deposit and the difference needed. Do I have any case to use my deposit inside given the fact that she confirmed deposit will be returned in full once she receives the full amount.
    • What’s the motive behind her constantly asking for the signed contract.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Maybe stabilized, maybe not. You can call the Rent Stabilization Board and find out. Though I doubt if it makes any difference now.

    For the acronymically challenged UWS is Upper West Side.

    That's because your LL is a fool. If she had any sense she would have had you sign in 2017 or evicted you for being an unauthorized occupant.

    No, it isn't set to end September because an unsigned lease is not a lease, it's a month to month tenancy of no particular duration.

    That's fine. On a month to month tenancy, at least 30 days notice to the end of a rent period is required.

    She's right. You rent by the month, you pay by the month. A security deposit is not rent. You owe for the full month of April regardless of what part of the month you moved out.

    Smart move on your part.

    Unfortunately for her, the die is already cast and all she can do is blow smoke and you can ignore her if you like. Or just send her a check for the $200 and hope that puts an end to it.

    Yes. If she can find one that will do it, she can report you for one month's delinquent rent, which would be true since you ARE one month delinquent. Again, a security deposit is not rent. I had tenants try that on me and I would hit them with a pay or quit notice the day after the due date and then put a judgment or eviction on their record if I didn't get the rent. Your LL handled this wrong. She should have given you the pay or quit notice and then evicted you for non-pay if you didn't pony up.

    Doesn't have to be. An oral agreement is still a contract.

    Yes. All of your conversations, texts, emails, performance, etc. And you've already admitted you are one month delinquent.

    No. You're already out so eviction is not necessary. Court calendars are delayed but eventually they'll be open. Collection agencies don't need court to trash your credit and hound you for payment.

    No, you don't. LOL. Your intention is not to have to pay $2000 and then wait for your deposit to be refunded.

    No. It'll be used but that's not your choice. That's hers.

    Beats me. I'm no telepath.

    I can't tell you what to do. At this late date a judge would probably rule that she's entitled to $200. Make no mistake, a judgment in her favor for $200 means YOU LOST and the judgment ends up on your credit report as a negative item from a landlord and could give you trouble getting decent rentals in the future.

    If you want to avoid that I suggest you stop talking to her and just send her a check for $200 and hope that puts an end to it.

    PS: You may wonder why an Arizona guy is weighing in on this. Well, I'm an ex NYer and I have two sisters living in rent stabilized apartments in Manhattan so I know quite a lot about this.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
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  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Due to the Chinese Corona-Wuhan Virus -aka- Covid19 panic-demonic (especially in NYC) renters can't be evicted during the shelter in place/quarantine.

    ===>Gov. Cuomo Extends New York’s Pause on Evictions Until August 20, 2020<===

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that he would extend the eviction moratorium on renters until late August — an additional 60 days of rent reprieve to unemployed residents, restaurants, and other businesses suffering from the COVID-19 shutdown. He did not address broader calls for rent forgiveness.

    The good news is that all NYC tenants—residential and commercial—are protected under a state eviction moratorium that is in effect until at least August 20. Initially, New York Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks announced a suspension on court eviction proceedings, but a loophole briefly allowed landlords to file new eviction cases. An executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed that loophole by blocking new cases until at least April 19 (that has since been extended to May 7) and enacting a statewide eviction moratorium until mid-June.

    The governor has since extended that moratorium, amid mass rent strikes and pressure for rent relief from tenant advocates, another 60 days to August 20 along with banning late fees and allowing security deposits to be put toward rent. So for the next four months, New Yorkers cannot legally be evicted from their homes—full stop.

    Read all about it on these various websites:

    New York’s coronavirus eviction moratorium, explained

    Cuomo Extends New York’s Pause on Evictions Until August 20

    New York renters hurt financially by coronavirus may get some relief

    Tenant Protection

    How Can Landlords Get Relief if Their Tenants Can’t Pay?
     
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  4. UWS-Tenant

    UWS-Tenant Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you @adjusterjack for responding and breaking it down with your interpretation.

    My intention is good. I am not stealing or trying to reduce any money.. Overall the same amount of money will be coming out of my pocket and staying w/ her.


    Thanks @army judge for sharing that content. I can't seem to find any section for tenant who vacated the apt and still owes last months rent.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You don't owe "last months rent" you owe THE months rent for the last month of your notice period.

    The NY statute regarding security deposits makes it clear that a security deposit is held by the lessor as security for the performance of the contract and is separate from rent.

    2019 New York Laws :: GOB - General Obligations :: Article 7 - Obligations Relating to Property Received as Security :: Title 1 - Money Deposited as Security to Be Held in Trust in Certain Cases

    Right. And at this point it's probably a wash if you send the $200. But had she paid attention and done things right you would have had big trouble. Try that the next place you live and I suspect that your next landlord will handle things differently.
     
  6. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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    Sounds like the deposit could be in your brother name.... back when he signed the rental agreement. Which by law the landlord will be required to send it back to him instead of you.
     
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  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Can't believe I missed that. UWS-Tenant, if that's the case then you owe your LL the full $2000. The deposit doesn't belong to you.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    We have no reason to believe she lacks this ability.

    I have no idea who "they" are, what "something else" means (i.e., something other than what?), or what "case" you're talking about.

    "My deposit"? You told us that you started living in the apartment after your brother moved out and that you never signed a lease with the landlord. Did you pay the deposit? Or did your brother pay the deposit? If he paid it, then you likely have no rights regarding the deposit.
     
  9. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Long time upper west side resident here and still work there, technically Morningside.

    Here is what I can't understand at all - why didn't you just send the $200 to ensure that the landlord was mathematically fully compensated for the last month's rent? It doesn't matter your origin to figure out why the landlord might be irate - you admit you still owe it and you've created an unexpected cash flow deficit. As @adjusterjack said, you could have just sent the $200 and (hope) that would put an end to the issue.

    So what exactly am I missing here that is holding you back? Do you believe you have some type of leverage in the hoping to bargain for a written guarantee from the landlord that she won't pursue the remedies @adjusterjack has listed in exchange for the $200? She has them anyway. And that even makes any "deal" illusory anyway. The longer you wait the more likely it is that she will just let a collection agency have it's way with you . Accept the facts as they are that you have no leverage and get no guarantees.
     
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  10. UWS-Tenant

    UWS-Tenant Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi @Michael Wechsler - I am not expecting any leverage and went ahead and sent the check for the remaining portion. Thanks
     

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