Typical Scenario Of A Landlord / Tenant Dispute In NY

Interviewer: Do you ever get like a very typical story or a scenario from a landlord, like something that you hear all the time?

Glen Malia: Well, there’s one really interesting story that comes about from tenants that they talk to judges about -- starting about April where maybe their leases expired, what they call a holdover tenant, either the lease expired or the landlord gave them a 30-day notice of termination, so the tenancy expired now in court. And the story they -- story about April or definitely in May is they come in, “Judge, I’ve got kids in the school, I need time to get out and like I don’t want to move my kid at the end of a school year to another school district”. And frequently, I’ve had this really frequently and you know, I’ve got a child with a special education placement and there’s no way for us -- landlords, they don’t have their landlords to confirm that. I’ll get out but I need till the end of June, the end of the school year to get out. And the judges, when they hear that, you know, more likely they’re not to try to work something, you know, try to twist arm so that it’s at the end of the school year as opposed to, right away maybe in the middle of way. Once again, previously I mentioned it; you get the same type of situation in like you’re starting about right before and thanks giving time to the holidays. In that, the story, judge, I just need more time to get a place. I’ve looked for place, there’s not a lot of places to be found, you know, I don’t have the money, you know, all those type of things, that’s one of common situations in terms of holdover proceedings.

The Tenant May Complain of the Building’s Inadequacies in Order to Justify Non Payment of Rent

In terms of non-payment, the tenant will be in there -- and this happens on all those that the tenant starts -- the tenant who have never complained about anything and then, they’ll come in and with the non-payment “Oh, this window is broken and that’s busted, there’s things wrong with the apartment, you know, 99 per cent of the time, it’s things that the tenant has done to apartment but they’ll be complaining about those things to try to either get the rent reduced or to raise questions in the judge’s mind as to whether or not, you know, there was a really good reason for not paying the rent and so, like those are the real common things. “Need more time to get out, Judge, because I can’t find another place for my kids. I don’t want to move the kids from the school”. And then, also “Well, the place is -- I haven’t paid the rent because the place is in awful condition”.

Common Building Code Violations in the State of New York

Interviewer: What’s the story with that? What’s the common Building Code Violations that you’ve seen?

Glen Malia: The most common building code violation obviously in the winter time, in the fall winter and spring these seasons lack of heat, lack of warm water, okay. And then, frequently outside of that is insect infestation and/or road rodent infestation. Particularly, on the insect infestation it’s cockroaches. Then, you probably have the building code, the condition of the premises, things not working or broken appliances things of that nature.

Having Too Many People Occupy an Insufficient Rental Unit is Also a Building Code Violation

You also have too many people occupying the premises, maybe you have too many people for the size and the bedrooms and things of that nature. And a building code violation is really not between the landlord and the tenant but it’s more between the municipality and the landlord, it’s -- let’s call it a zoning violation in terms of you’re renting out an apartment, you have a one family house and you’re renting out an apartment in the house so it violates the zoning and/or then another thing that’s related to that if you don’t have a certificate of occupancy for the unit. Another big one in many municipalities is where the landlord may be running effectively any legal boarding house, may have rented out, you know, a 3-bed apartment and they’re like three different people who, in you know municipalities, something like that’s violation of the municipal laws.

Malia Law, LLC located in Cortlandt Manor, NY represents Landlords/Tenants throughout Westchester County, Putnam County and Southern Dutchess County, NY.

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