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Gale Joyce’s Answers

6 total

  • My tenant's lease expired 4/30/12. He remains on a month to month basis. How much notice is fair. Is rent due during this time?

    My sister is part-owner of the property. She has become ill and is unable to work. She wishes to move into the apartment in question. I would like to give the tenant 60 days notice with the option to apply his security deposit to the last 30 days...

    Gale’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. Certainly, though, you can give 60 days notice in the same way that 30 days notice is given. If your tenant does not vacate within the time specified in the notice, you will have to proceed to court. In court you will have the opportunity to voluntarily enter into an agreement (you don't have to) called a stipulation to give your tenant time to look for another apartment. The stipulation will contain all terms such as whether rent must be paid during the time alotted and what will happen to the security deposit. I advise my clients not to apply security to rent until the tenant vacates. If you have already applied security to rent before you go to court, you will not be able to claim that amount in your action. Housing court does not allow claims for replacement of security deposits.

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  • In renting (private house - 2 family) do you think it's in my best interest to rent to tenants on Section 8 or other programs?

    section 8

    Gale’s Answer

    As was pointed put, in New York City, it is illegal to reject a tenant because they are receiving Section 8 benefits. My website, theLandlordCenter.com, has several articles on Section 8 Landlord/Tenant issues that you may find helpful. You can also download a free tenant screening kit there.

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  • Notice to cure - eviction - retaliation - rent stabilized lease - NY law

    Briefly, tenant does not live in the apartment, but there are 3 other people living there on a sublease. We have received a notice to cure from landlord. Landlord maintains that we are illegally occupying the premises because tenant did not ask th...

    Gale’s Answer

    The Rent Stabilization Code is very specific concerning the right to sublet. Most importantly, you must obtain written consent from the landlord after submission of your request to sublet. The occupancy statement you filled out has nothing to do with subletting. It is used primarily as evidence in succession cases where family members of rent-stabilized tenants claim independent rights to renewal based on longevity of occupancy with the primary tenant.

    Illegal subletting, in and of itself, is curable. You should consult an attorney to determine if it will be possible in your situation and if there are any other extenuating circumstances that might affect your defense. Regarding retaliation, again, the law is specific. The defense of retaliation is usually upheld by the courts only where there has been a tenant complaint to a governmental agency such as HPD or the Building Department within 6 months of the landlord's action. Once the defense is properly pled, the landlord is free to prove to the court that retaliation is not the reason for the action and that there are other valid grounds. In your case subletting, would be another valid ground for eviction.

    There are other issues that present themselves in your question and you should seriously consider retaining counsel. This answer does not constitute legal advice.

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  • Can a landlord re-issue a lease claiming they've made a mistake? Aren't they responsible for the terms agreed?

    I was living without a lease at my apt. I demanded that I get one. The dates on the lease were 6/1 thru 5/13 even though my rent normally goes up in November every year. I was then given a 30 day notice of a rent hike and called the main office. T...

    Gale’s Answer

    Your lease will expire on the date provided. If your landlord starts an eviciton proceeding agaisnt you claiming that you don't have a valid lease, your lease should be a defense. However, as Mr. Smollens points out, if you choose this route and you are not rent stabilized, the landlord may opt not to keep you as a tenant when the lease does expire. Generally, landlords are not required to provide leases in buildings that contain less than 6 apartments unless they are rent controlled or stabilized (very unlikely, but possible). The right not to offer leases in these buidings is so important that I have several articles about it on my website. So, consider your long term plans. Please do not consider this answer legal advice. If you need more guidance, you may want to consider hiring an attorney in your area.

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  • Is a landlord allowed to do an automatic lease renewal?

    My girlfriend lived in an apartment that after the lease was up, she never received any papers from the landlord about lease renewal. Upon calling and requesting it on several occasions, we both were left to either busy signals or empty requests. ...

    Gale’s Answer

    Without more information, the answer is, it's possible. If the apartment is rent stabilized and a renewal lease was properly offered, the landlord may deem the lease renewed even if the tenant has refused to sign. This law was passed because rent stabilized tenants regularly refused to sign renewal leases as a way to avoid rent increases. Before the law changed, a landlord's only recourse was to start costly litigation and the only result was the increase they should have had to begin with. This became such a big issue that I have a whole article dedicated to it on my site along with tools a landlord can use in this situation. However, in an apartment that is not rent stabilized, a lease must be signed to be effective unless the expiring lease provides for an automatic renewal upon a certain act. For instance, NYC landlords with Work Advantage tenants have recently experienced automatically renewing leases. Since you mention that a judge has already issued an Order, you may want to talk to the pro se attorney at the Court or consult with a private attorney. Please be advised that this answer should not be considered legal advice.

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  • Do I need to notify my landlord that my boyfriend is visiting for 2 1/2 months?

    I am on a month to month verbal agreement, there is no paper exchanged, we pay rent in cash. Do I legally need to notify them, do I risk eviction by not, and if I need to notify do I need to give them 30 days notice?

    Gale’s Answer

    Since your tenancy is month to month, your landlord does not really need a reason to evict you. You are not legally required to notify your landlord of the visit but the nature of your tenancy or how you pay rent is not relevant. The key to avoiding eviction with a month to month tenancy is a good relationship with your landlord. You should evaluate how telling them or not will affect that relationship. Good Luck.

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