In New York, tenants are protected from retaliatory eviction proceedings by RPAPL 223-b. This statute states in summary that a landlord cannot commence a summary proceeding to evict a tenant in retaliation or response to a tenant exercising it’s rights to file a complaint against the landlord with a government authority. The statute also goes a bit further and protects a landlord from retaliating against the tenant in other ways than starting a retaliatory eviction proceeding. Most notably, the statute prohibits a landlord from changing terms of the lease agreement in response to a complaint.
Another major component of this statute is the presumption that it creates. If the landlord has knowledge of the complaint filed by the tenant prior to initiating the summary proceeding, the landlord is presumed to be commencing a retaliatory eviction proceeding. The presumption however is only applicable after the tenant disproves certain underlying allegations of the petition; such as nonpayment of rent.
Retaliatory evictions are often commenced in response to the filing of a complaint due to the landlords failure to provide necessary services such as heat or hot water. It is important to understand whether or not a summary proceeding is warranted under the circumstances or whether the commencement of an action will be considered by the court to be a retaliatory eviction.
Landlord Tenant Attorney
Knowing the law regarding retaliatory eviction proceedings is necessary for every landlord and tenant. Please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620, where a landlord tenant attorney can speak with you about your case.
Wrongful Evictions in New York
A wrongful eviction action is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “a lawsuit brought by a former tenant or possessor of real property against one who has put the plaintiff out of possession, alleging that the eviction was illegal.”
A wrongful eviction action can result in the plaintiff/former occupant being restored into possession of the subject premises. It is worth noting that when the subject premises has been re-let, the court will balance the equities between the plaintiff/former occupant vs. the rights of the new resident of the subject premises. Wrongful evictions can be litigated in every county in New York State.
Another possible outcome of a wrongful eviction action is that the plaintiff/former occupant can be awarded punitive damages. Often times, wrongful evictions result in economic loss such as hotel costs for the former occupant, or the loss of personal belongings that were discarded by the defendant. In New York, treble damages may be awarded in wrongful eviction actions.
For the eviction to have been a wrongful eviction or illegal, the underlying basis or the case procedure must have an identifiable defect. Often times, Rent Stabilization Procedures are not properly followed or tenant payments are not properly credited to the tenants account. Self-Help adds a layer of complication but almost always fits into the category of wrongful eviction, especially in residential units. Self-Help language in leases will be reviewed by courts when a self-help eviction issue is raised in the court.
Understanding the landlord tenant dynamic and how wrongful evictions play a roll in that dynamic can present a dilemma if you do not seek the advice of an attorney. These complex issues are often not presented properly and the cases are often dismissed.
Eviction Attorney in New York
If you have been wrongfully evicted, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak to an attorney today!
Today, it was decided that the rent increases for rent stabilized apartments in New York will be 3% on 1 year leases and 6% on 2 year leases. These rent increases are down from last year but definitely higher than rumored earlier this month. The topic has attracted much publicity in the New York area over the past few weeks. It had been thought that the rent increases would be denied and the current rental rates for this year would freeze for the time being. Now that the increase has been approved, landlords for Rent Stabilized buildings can begin to prepare for offering their renewal leases with the increased rates.
We will post more about this topic in the next week. If you are a landlord in a rent stabilized building and need assistance preparing a renewal lease or commencing eviction proceedings, please feel free to call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Landlord Tenant Attorney!
Holdover vs. Nonpayment Evictions
Deciding between holdover and nonpayment evictions.
Recently, we have had several situations arise where clients had to determine whether they would bring a Holdover vs. Nonpayment eviction against the tenant. Now it is true that in most situations, there is really no choice. The facts of the specific case dictate that there is only one option available. It is not correct however to assume that there are never situations where a choice exists. The final decision needs to be the result of strategic planning between attorney and client.
The one constant that must be taken into account when determining which type of action you will ultimately bring is the desired outcome. The attorney’s job is to take the specific facts of the case and develop the plan to achieve the desired outcome. Together, the attorney client team decides on the type of action to bring. Together, they have taken into consideration the ultimate goals of the landlord, the governing laws, the trends of the court rulings, and the facts of the case.
As always, if you are having trouble deciding which type of action to bring, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620!