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Jennifer Addonizio Rozen
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Jennifer Rozen’s Answers

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  • I live in a apartment for 9 years with step father i help pay rent and other bills can i be evicted

    my mother also pay the light bill and the gas but is not at home often because of the work she does i pay the phone bill and the cable bill name name is on them. my mothers name was taken off the lease by my step father so he can make him self sol...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Unfortunately if your name is not on the lease, the tenant of record (your step father) can take steps to evict you from the apartment despite the fact that you pay some of the bills. You are considered a "licensee" under the law, meaning you're there only because your step father gave you permission to be there. When that permission ends, you're treated as a month to month tenant and can be evicted if your step father serves you with a 30 day notice of termination and then a notice of petition and petition in housing court. It will take several months for your step father to get the necessary paperwork through the court to actually evict you, but it sounds like you don't have a valid defense which could keep you in the apartment.

    Good luck,

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  • What am I responsible for?

    Back in March we got evicted from our apartment. Well we received the letter of what we owed for damages and what not. Well on that paper they charged us rent up until june and utilities. We were out of the unit the day before the sheriff's would...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    You should have an attorney experienced in landlord/tenant law review your lease. Many standard leases will include a provision by which you'll be held responsible for the remainder of the term of your lease EVEN if you were evicted--the rationale is that you breached your lease, which is why you were evicted. Unfortunately, being evicted doesn't necessarily release you from liability under the lease.

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  • Rights to break lease and get compensated for not being able to sleep at night for 4 months due to the continuing noise issue

    Hello, we are tenants of the rental apartment building, and have not been able to sleep at night because of the extreme noise coming from the apartment above every night. It has been affecting our health and our lives to the breaking point. ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree with Mr. Bianchi for the most part. If the landlord has filed a case to remove the offending tenants from the building, the court will view that as their attempt to remedy the conditions. However if the conditions continue to interfere so much with your comfort and safety AND you have it well documented (either record the noise or create a log of dates and times that you heard the noise), you may still be able to successfully claim constructive eviction and get out of the lease. Be sure to write to the landlord to continue complaining of the noise and the manner in which it interferes with your life. In my experience, the court will not often award moving/broker's fees to tenants who have been constructively evicted.

    Lastly, you could ask the LL to let you out of the lease in writing because of the noise.

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  • What are my nyc rights if I am a tenant at will cash only if I want to move out in less than 30 days. Can I get into big trouble

    I was already rudely threatened a few days ago that I would be kicked out if they found out someone was living with me in my 2bedroom apt which I occupy by myself. I naturally no longer feel comfortable and found an apt that is ready to move in in...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    If you are month to month (and you don't have a written lease) then the landlord may choose to end your tenancy for any reason assuming you are properly served with a 30 day notice of termination. However, the LL may not end a written lease because you have a roommate. Under NYS law, you are also entitled to have one roommate, so the landlord's demand that you vacate for that reason is baseless. Good luck.

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  • Can a tenant countersuit a lawyer who takes them to housing court if the have 311 before petition?

    If the tenant has 311 complaints dated right before the landlords petition can you countersuit for harassment and retaliation?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Your question is unclear. Tenants don't countersue lawyers that file petitions against them on behalf of landlords, but they can make counterclaims against the landlord once a petition has been filed. In housing court, one of the most common counterclaims that a tenant can assert is for Warranty of Habitability or bad conditions in their apartment. If you've called 311 and HPD cites the landlord for violations based on the inspection they've done, it makes your counterclaim stronger.

    Additionally, if you believe the landlord has only sued you because of good faith complaints you made to HPD (311) you may have a retaliatory eviction counterclaim as well. The landlord may not try to evict you simply because you've asserted your rights under NY state law. You should contact a tenant attorney to help you figure out what, if any counterclaims are appropriate in your case.

    Good luck!

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  • When is a person that is renting a room in my house month to month legally considered to be a tenant.

    the person had been in my house only 13 days now and i want her out,. she signed a month to month lease and i thought she had to get 30 days notice and i wrote up a notice and gave it to her on November 5th and she had only moved in on November 1s...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    I would never advise a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant prior to seeking legal counsel. Under certain circumstances, (for example, when a tenant has been occupying the apartment for less than 30 days) the law in NY allows for eviction without a court proceeding , if the eviction is overseen by the police.

    Despite that there is a narrow exception under the law whereby you can evict without going to court, it's risky and it opens you up to liability for a potential wrongful eviction action (and treble damages). Issues may arise under your homeowner's insurance policy.

    Unless the tenant is willing to sign an agreement where she gives up possession of the apartment in exchange for her money back, you should consult an attorney.

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  • My building super is painting the building elevators at 10pm at night and the fumes are coming right into my apartment.

    Is there any laws that can prevent him from painting after typical business hours? What can I do to protect myself? It is a multi family private building in NYC.

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Anyone can paint, therefore it's not an activity for which the landlord would be required to get a Department of Buildings permit. There are no rules and regulations governing when an owner can make minor repairs and/or paint a property. Your best best is write to the landlord to explain the situation, advise the landlord that the paint fumes which are seeping into your apartment after 10pm are interfering with your right to enjoy the apartment and therefore is in breach of the Warranty of Habitability. Hopefully you have a sympathetic landlord that will alter the super's paint schedule. Good luck!

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  • Do I have to pay?

    I moved into a rental unit in NYC where the occupant was breaking his lease. Management wasn't happy and refused to pay the regular cleaning costs before move-in. The tenant moving out made an oral agreement with us to hire a professional cleaner ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree with my colleague that it's impossible to prevent someone from filing an action against you, but you can begin to prepare a good defense now. Save all of your texts, emails and any other correspondence with him. Hopefully you took pictures of the condition of the apartment prior to cleaning it, which will aid your defense. Last, if there's nothing in writing to show that you promised to pay him $500 for the air conditioner, a judge is going to be hard pressed to award him that amount. Good luck!

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  • In a debt collection case, can a plaintiff file for summary judgment 16 months after I filed my Answer and no other action made?

    Plaintiff filed a Complaint 16 months ago and I filed a timely Answer. There has been no other action on the case, no contact from the plaintiff whatsoever until they filed a Motion for Summary Judgment last week (16 months later). Can I file a mo...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Is the plaintiff the original creditor or a 3rd party debt collector? Third party debt collectors often cannot prove that they own the debt, so attacking their motion for summary judgment by making a cross motion for summary judgment can be very effective if done properly. Most summary judgment motions like this are made using documents that aren't admissible. Summary judgment motions however are complex and if you can, you should consult an attorney to assist you in preparing a cross-motion.

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  • If landlord/ tenant neglected a walk-through at start of lease, can tenant still be responsible for damage caused by negligence?

    no walk-through was done when lease started.. about three weeks into lease my caretaker discovers damaged door. tenant says door damaged when he took over lease, but he was too busy to inform landlord. I am sure door was not damaged when he took o...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    It's best practice for both the landlord and tenant to perform a walk through of the apartment, taking notes of all damage and things needing repairs prior to the time the tenant takes possession of the apartment. Both parties should sign off on the list of damages so there is no question as to liability later on. At this point, it's a battle of credibility--your word against the tenants with no real evidence either way.

    Perhaps you and the tenant can split the cost of this repair and then do a walk through noting and signing off on conditions so that going forward, you don't find yourself in this predicament.

    Good luck!

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