A. The landlord and her daughter had a fight and the daughter reported the apartment to the town. If you’re simply an observer and you report an illegal renting house or apartment, you won’t be protected under any laws that help renters in these situations. 6. LegalMatch, Market She still had one month on her lease and when she requested her security deposit back he said no due to the fact that she still had a month left on her lease . The landlord tries to get you evicted for non-payment and you bring a cross-complaint. Also are there any consequences to a landlord who spends your deposit money for their own personal use? Landlords who rent property that isn’t subject to rent stabilization--such as single-family homes—are free to raise rent as allowed under their leases or rental agreements. Thank you for a very informative article. How To Enforce a Judgment of Possession and a Warrant of Eviction, New York’s Eviction Moratorium and Its Effect on Paying Rent. It's better to bring the matter into landlord-tenant court yourself, while continuing to pay rent. learn the law Login. Yes, a landlord can legally collect rent from an apartment that has been legally condemned. A landlord is required to keep the rental property in a habitable condition, so it's illegal to refuse to make repairs that can affect a tenant’s health or safety. The small claims court found that Pickering had failed to prove that she moved out by that date, but nonetheless awarded her the return of her security deposit and dismissed the Chappes’ counterclaims on a finding that rent could not be recovered because the apartment was “an illegal apartment in a one-family house.” The Chappes appealed from the award to Pickering of the security deposit. Library, Employment & He doesn’t even knock and it really irks me! The defendant, William Jerry Hadden owns two apartment buildings in the Lexington area. Courts, for a long time, were split on this issue. © 2020 Murtha Law Firm, LLC. Law, Intellectual From time-to-time you will still see an inexperienced lawyer or pro se litigant attempt to raise the defense that the non-payment action must be dismissed because the apartment is illegal; those lawyers and parties generally get a rude awaking to the new state of the law. California law does not reward a landlord who has an illegal structure, and it also punishes the landlord by declaring the contract leasing that structure “void.” This case began as a small claims action, in which Yolanda Pickering sought to recover, among other things, a security deposit in the amount of $850.00 that she paid Eric and Maria Chappe, her former landlords. Some municipalities allow tenants to collect “eviction fees” for having rented an illegal unit so that the tenants can find another suitable place to live. The families that have come are business owners or have more than one job,; very hardworking people. Eviction actions based on non-payment of rent in Nassau County were generally not dismissed even where the rental was in violation of the certificate of occupancy, but the Court would simply not award a monetary judgment in such cases, granting only possession. Should I Consult a Lawyer if I am Having Problems With an Illegal Tenancy? Although a landlord might seem to be asking out of genuine concern, they may also use it as a reason not to rent to you. All rights reserved. The main problem is that the tenant may play games with you and claim that his apartment is not habitable if it is in poor condition. (this may not be the same place you live), Faulty/Defective Products/Services (Auto, Drug), Investments (Annuities, Securities, IPOs). Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Some items to consider: If the local municipality finds that the landlord’s unit is illegal, some states declare that the parties’ rental agreement is unenforceable. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The Appellate Term held that contrary to the small claims court’s ruling, “there is no bar to the recovery of rent when a dwelling that has a certificate of occupancy as a one-family dwelling contains an illegal apartment. If someone had told me a few months ago that by Cinco De Mayo 236 million Americans would be under government orders to stay at home… and a whopping 3.4 Million total humanswould be suffering globally from a deadly pandemic with over 238,000 dead, I wouldn’t have believed it. However, you might have grounds to sue your landlord, if you can prove that they misrepresented the apartment as legit when they knew, in fact, it was not. It is only in the Multiple Dwelling Law that the Legislature has seen fit to impose a forfeiture of rent as a penalty.” The Multiple Dwelling Law is a statutory body that applies to buildings occupied as a residence by three or more families living independently of each other (see Multiple Dwelling Law § 4 [7]). The Appellate Term further made clear in its opinion that even the absence of a certificate of occupancy does not bar a landlord from recovering rent in a non-payment action, provided that there are less than three families living in the premises. I always pay the rent on time and give her 75$ extra per month for air conditioning. I live in Suffolk. Where a town ordinance prohibited renting without a rental permit, the absence of such a permit by the landlord would generally lead to the dismissal of a non-payment action. The landlord told us to move around January and we told yes no problem just give us time to find somewhere to move. Like a movie more than a reality. But here we are. this situation what can we do ? Generally, the answer is no. No, small claims courts are not the appropriate forum for landlord-tenant matters. You can speak with an eviction lawyer for free, right now, about your legal issue. As a final note, the Pickering case does not stand for the proposition that it is okay for landlords to violate town ordinances by renting illegally. Judge Straniere makes it clear that the Landlord cannot collect rent on an illegal apartment." Some states are very strict with landlords who rent illegal apartments to tenants. Can I Stop Paying My Rent Because of the Coronavirus? Of course, the landlord may evict you because the apartment is illegal. Your landlord cannot, however, recover any rent you did not pay. Property Law, Products Read more about him on his Linkedin profile. How can contract for an illegal service or property be enforced in court? to learn about the eviction process, call us. your case, Online Law And, if you’ve signed a lease in a rent-stabilized apartment and your rent is less than the established legal rent, your landlord can no longer raise your rent to the full legal limit when you renew your lease. New Jersey, for instance, makes it very clear to landlords that they may not profit from illegal activity. You walk in with the landlord and notice the a part of the floor is caved in, or perhaps there is some mold or other health and safety concern. If the apartment is in good condition than he can continue to pay you rent as long as long as both you and the tenant agree. Hit family and I have been living in an apt in Suffolk county by almost ten months now paying the rent every month there was a very bad water leak in the two bedrooms that after months of asking finally got fixed I was out of the apt for weeks living in a hotel and wanted the landlord to either pay for my expenses or squash the rent for the month he decides to try to evict me for non payment of rent the day I move back in after construction is done what can I do about this I’d like to sue for my expenses get my security back and leave how should I go about it thanks and ps yes I will prob need a good lawyer, I have a landlord that wants to evict me but I have no lease, and there is no rental permit, I asked what I owe and will he take payment he won’t answer…is it law to have a one year lease in town of brookhaven. Is there anyway that I can take her to small claims court in an attempt to have this debt paid please? This is kind of weird, but my landlord enters my apartment from time to time. Some municipalities allow tenants to collect “eviction fees” for having rented an illegal unit so that the tenants can find another suitable place to live. Law, About What happens if you become under suspicion of renting a house or room illegally? This is an unprecedented time. I am a Managing Member at the Murtha Law Firm, LLC, and I am an eviction lawyer in Suffolk County and Nassau County, Long Island, New York. The Appellate Term held that the Chappes were not precluded from recovering rent for the months in which Pickering resided in the apartment and that the Chappes were entitled to retain the security deposit as a setoff against the rents owed. I have children so it’s hard to find. No, a landlord may offer a tenant a written lease, or may have only an oral month-to-month tenancy agreement with the tenant. 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