You get a letter in the mail.
It says the landlord is taking
your apartment for himself.
Under current New York City rent-stabilization laws, your landlord has the legal right to remove you from your apartment if he or she intends to occupy it personally, or if it’s for the use of a family member. In this circumstance, you will receive a letter notifying you that your lease won’t be renewed at the end of its term. For most tenants, this presents a housing crisis, because locating another rent-regulated apartment is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.
Fortunately, Tenants’ attorney Jeffrey McAdams has extensive experience in successfully representing clients faced with a landlord’s personal use claims. There are a number of defenses that can be raised, which may enable you to stay in your apartment. Here are several approaches that have worked effectively:
- proving that the landlord made a similar claim in the past and then neglected to occupy the premises, which can reveal a profit-making motive instead of a good faith intention of personal use
- showing that the proposed occupant doesn’t fit the legal definition of a “family member”
- if you’re a senior citizen (defined as 62 or over) or disabled, the landlord has to offer you a similar, rent-stabilized unit at an equivalent monthly rate in the same neighborhood, before being allowed to take the unit for personal use – this requirement also applies to your spouse
- showing that the building is owned by a partnership or corporation defeats an individual landlord’s attempt to seize the unit for personal use
- if the apartment is rent-controlled and you’ve lived there for 20 years or more it is not subject to personal use claims at all
Navigating the treacherous waters of personal use litigation…
More often than not, with a personal use claim litigation is involved, making these cases among the more complex Landlord Tenant matters. Even in attempting to reach an amicable settlement, negotiations need to be handled very carefully, because it’s easy to forfeit valuable legal rights and get the short end of a deal.
Also, once you negotiate an arrangement with your landlord for you to leave, you relinquish the opportunity to seek damages later. If you make a bad deal for yourself, you’re stuck with it. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek an experienced Tenants’ lawyer to help you. If you do end up having to vacate your apartment, you’re more likely to get better results by having a knowledgeable attorney do your negotiating.
The following tips that Jeff has published will give you some additional information on personal use lawsuits:
Call Tenants’ attorney Jeff McAdams today to learn more about your legal rights if the landlord wants your apartment for personal use. You’ll get a FREE, brief initial phone consultation, and it may be possible to retain your tenancy. You can reach Jeff at 212-406-5145.
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New York, NY 10007
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