There is often a great deal of pressure in Housing Court to settle matters rather then proceed to trial. Frequently, settling is in fact the best option, as it saves the expense of trial and exposure to paying your adversary's attorneys fees. However, when a landlord is unwilling to acknowledge fundamental tenant rights, then a trial is required to assert them. If you feel this is the situation in your case, do not be intimidated into settling. If you have to go to trial, it's to your advantage to discuss options with a tenants' lawyer, who can advise on what the probable outcome will be for each available course of action. The point is that it's just not always possible to avoid a court battle if you want to safeguard your rights.