I signed the lease and made the required rental payment, but the Landlord won’t let me move into my apartment.
We have seen this scenario before.
First, you should ALWAYS get a signed copy of the lease (signed by you and the Landlord).
Second, there is a major difference between not being able to turnover possession of an apartment, and unjustifiably refusing to turnover possession of an apartment.
Not being able to turnover possession of an apartment
This commonly occurs when an existing tenant fails to vacate the apartment at the expiration of their lease. The Landlord is then forced to bring a “holdover” action against the existing tenant. Thus, your entry into your new apartment is delayed. Most leases contain a clause which states something like: “The failure of Landlord to give Tenant possession of the Unit on the Commencement Date shall not create liability for Landlord.” You may not have any legal recourse in such a case. However, the facts should be closely examined by you and an attorney (if necessary).
Unjustifiably refusing to turnover possession of an apartment
This sometimes happens when a Landlord finds someone willing to pay a higher rental amount after already having signed a lease with you. Under these circumstances, the Landlord would likely be in breach of contract for unjustifiably refusing to place you in possession of the apartment.
You may want to contact an attorney for legal advice if you are in a situation where a landlord has refused to turnover possession of an apartment to you. This is not legal advice.
New York Landlord Tenant Attorney
The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC, can be reached at (516) 858-2620.
Section 2523.5(a) of the NY Rent Stabilization code provides the following in pertinent part:
On a form prescribed or a facsimile of such form approved by the DHCR, dated by the owner, every owner, other than an owner of hotel accommodations, shall notify the tenant named in the expiring lease not more than 150 days and not less than 90 days prior to the end of the tenant’s lease term, by mail or personal delivery, of the expiration of the lease term, and offer to renew the lease or rental agreement at the legal regulated rent permitted for such renewal lease and otherwise on the same terms and conditions as the expiring lease. The owner shall give such tenant a period of 60 days from the date of service of such notice to accept the offer and renew such lease….
Landlord Tenant Attorney in Mineola
As always, The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC is here to assist you with your Landlord-tenant matters. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation.
Rent Stabilization Rules
Under certain circumstances, the Rent Stabilization rules (Rent Stabilization Code) allows a landlord to recover a stabilized apartment for personal use.
In a recent case, Nestor v. Britt, 2012 NY Slip Op 22034 – NY: Appellate Term, 1st Dept. 2012, the court stated the following:
We agree, essentially for reasons stated by Civil Court, that petitioner-landlords are barred from maintaining the within owner use holdover proceeding based upon their demonstrated failure to comply with the equivalent housing requirements of Rent Stabilization Code (9 NYCRR) § 2524.4(a)(2). The cited Code section requires a landlord seeking to recover a stabilized apartment for personal use to offer an elderly or disabled tenant “lawfully occupying” the unit “an equivalent or superior housing accommodation at the same or lower regulated rent in a closely proximate area.” As the motion court properly recognized, the landlords’ offer to the elderly tenant of any number of unregulated “market” apartments did not satisfy their statutory obligation to offer tenant “an equivalent or superior housing accommodation at the same or lower regulated rent” (emphasis added) (Code § 2524.4(a)(2); see Rent Stabilization Law [Administrative Code of City of NY] §26-511[c][b] [“same or lower stabilized rent”), a requirement which plainly presupposes that the proposed alternative housing unit itself be covered by rent stabilization.