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Old 05-11-2009, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Western Mass
1,220 posts, read 2,617,702 times
Reputation: 822

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I've read a lot of your posts. IMHO you really need to think a little better before making the types of decisions you do.

It's your responsibility as a tenant to adhere to the leasing agreement that you signed with your landlord. The adult thing to do would have been to talk with your landlord before making any decisions and signing another lease. You are legally bound to a lease once it's signed and a landlord does have the right to take legal action against you if you don't hold up your end of the bargain.

The fact that you're receiving public aide should make you even more careful simply due to the fact that you can't afford to pay regular rent. Your landlord is no way at fault here. You have to think things like this through carefully before you go and make an erratic decision.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: NYC
304 posts, read 833,637 times
Reputation: 178
Contact Legal Aid. Main number: 212-577-3300

And never sign anything more important than a birthday card as "oh, okay" -- w/o timeout to think it over and get advice -- even if Moses, Jesus, Buddha, and a swarm of UFOs are pressuring you to do it now! now! now!
(In fact, _especially_ if anyone's pressuring you to do it now! now! now!)
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:24 PM
 
1,867 posts, read 2,637,394 times
Reputation: 579
If you signed the document that contained the handwritten wording about your being able to break the lease, then you have no problem getting out of the lease provided you give the two weeks notice and you clean the apartment as required. Just cuz some language is handwritten, does not mean its not part of the contract.

No one can hold you to a lease unless they take you to court and sue you. If the landlord spends that kind of time and money to bring you to court, you will simply show up and state that you signed the lease only after the LL agreed in writing to allow you to terminate early upon 2 weeks prior notice.

Move out as planned, after giving the 2 weeks notice. Then you must notify PA that starting on ___, 2009, they should pay your rent to the new place and not the old place, and provide them with a copy of your new lease or whatever else they need to start paying the new landlord.

Again, the only way your landlord can even begin to try to enforce this lease is to bring you to court. He cannot contact PA and insist that they keep paying him when you have notified PA that you no longer live there. So therefore right now there is absolutely no reason to get Legal Aid involved. Just give the notice and leave, make sure PA is sending the rent to the right place. Do that and you have complied with the old LL's lease.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,593 posts, read 22,648,902 times
Reputation: 6090
From what I have heard from landlords, they really LIKE the people who have Section 8 or Public Assistance because they know the money is rolling in no matter what. He doesn't want to loose you.

I would call the PA people and tell them what he has done, if they feel he has done wrong, they can stop him from getting tenants who are on PA and I doubt he would want that.

Don't let people run you over, stand up for yourself.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:44 PM
 
1,867 posts, read 2,637,394 times
Reputation: 579
Why does anyone believe that she should contact PA except to let PA know not to send the rent to the old LL again??? Why should she contact Legal Aid when she has not been sued by her landlord, nor has he threatened to try to enforce the lease? Remember, the terms of the lease are that the OP may terminate the lease on 2 weeks notice. You should request a copy of the lease with the handwritten terms regarding termination. If the LL refuses to give you a copy, or whites out the handwritten part, you can still represent in court that that handwritten language was indeed on the original. The court would then decide if they believe you or the landlord. But right now, there is no issue. Give the LL your notice and see if he comes back with some BS.
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:02 PM
DAS
 
2,276 posts, read 3,790,145 times
Reputation: 882
Quote:
Originally Posted by quelinda View Post
Why does anyone believe that she should contact PA except to let PA know not to send the rent to the old LL again??? Why should she contact Legal Aid when she has not been sued by her landlord, nor has he threatened to try to enforce the lease? Remember, the terms of the lease are that the OP may terminate the lease on 2 weeks notice. You should request a copy of the lease with the handwritten terms regarding termination. If the LL refuses to give you a copy, or whites out the handwritten part, you can still represent in court that that handwritten language was indeed on the original. The court would then decide if they believe you or the landlord. But right now, there is no issue. Give the LL your notice and see if he comes back with some BS.
I suggested Legal Aid because they will give her the most accurate Legal advice. I knew that everyone and their uncle would have some advice, but no one is an attorney. A real attorney could not post an answer on this forum.

Legal aid will advise on both landlord and PA issues, also housing authority issues which she had questions about in another post. They won't get involved unless they have to, they will give her step by step instructions however.

I know that you have posted in the past that your father is a NYC LL, and I'm sure he is an honest man by the response I have just quoted, but not everyone is like that. There are a lot of horror stories out there. She has already spoken to too many people, this can forewarn her landlord. To be forwarned is to be forearmed.
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:13 PM
 
4,502 posts, read 8,048,152 times
Reputation: 3938
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAS View Post
I suggested Legal Aid because they will give her the most accurate Legal advice. .
I don't think she needs a lawyer because she's not the one paying the rent --- Public Assistance is paying the rent. The landlord isn't going to after HER for the rent; he's going to go after PA since he probably figures she'll forget to give him notice that she's terminating the lease.

Her best bet is to take a copy to her case worker and let the case worker know what happened. If he does try to sue her for the rent, at that point she can go to LegalAid. Right now, if she explains the story to her case worker and shows the lease, PA will send him a letter letting him know in no uncertain terms that they're not paying rent to him past _____ date and also (if he's taking Section 8) that he can be dropped from the program if he tries to pull a stunt like this again.

Landlords LOVE Section 8 and welfare tenants --- it's a guaranteed rent on the 1st of the month with no excuses. This guy isn't going to want to lose that!
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:20 PM
 
Location: NYC
304 posts, read 833,637 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
I would call the PA people and tell them what he has done, if they feel he has done wrong, they can stop him from getting tenants who are on PA and I doubt he would want that.
The OP said that he'd "let me out of the lease" whe she moved out, and that the new lease was "backup so PA can contuinue [sic] to pay the rent to him" after the old lease wrapped.
So though his tactics were foul: He couldn't collect if she wasn't there; PA won't pay two landlords. He obviously feared that the old lease would end, she might still be there as a holdover -- w/o lease -- and he couldn't collect rent (or at least do so easily).

As for other misc ... yes, he'd have to jump through hoops to enforce it if she weren't living there and if the modification were legit and provable. But we don't actually know _what_ that modification is, verbatim, or how legitimately the LL handled, or will handle, it.
So I'd still contact Legal Aid, rather than wait for some other shoe to drop.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:03 AM
 
1,867 posts, read 2,637,394 times
Reputation: 579
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAS View Post
I suggested Legal Aid because they will give her the most accurate Legal advice. I knew that everyone and their uncle would have some advice, but no one is an attorney. A real attorney could not post an answer on this forum.

Legal aid will advise on both landlord and PA issues, also housing authority issues which she had questions about in another post. They won't get involved unless they have to, they will give her step by step instructions however.

I know that you have posted in the past that your father is a NYC LL, and I'm sure he is an honest man by the response I have just quoted, but not everyone is like that. There are a lot of horror stories out there. She has already spoken to too many people, this can forewarn her landlord. To be forwarned is to be forearmed.
Well I am an attorney, though I am not giving advice in my capacity as such knowing very limited details. However, if she signed a lease which changes the termination provision to 2 weeks notice at the tenant's discretion, and the landlord has not said that he would try to lie about that or pull a fast one yet, why doesn't she just give the two weeks notice and move out? Where is the legal issue at this point?

You will find out for sure what the LL is up to by asking the LL for a copy of the lease w/ the handwritten note. If he gives you a copy with the handwritten note whited out, then you know there may be issues. Though I would still fight him rather than be intimidated and stay in a lease that I was permitted to terminate early because he plans to lie about it. It is at that point you would consider engaging an attorney (like legal aid).
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:02 AM
 
Location: NYC
304 posts, read 833,637 times
Reputation: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by quelinda View Post
if she signed a lease which changes the termination provision to 2 weeks notice at the tenant's discretion, and the landlord has not said that he would try to lie about that or pull a fast one yet, why doesn't she just give the two weeks notice and move out? Where is the legal issue at this point?

You will find out for sure what the LL is up to by asking the LL for a copy of the lease w/ the handwritten note. If he gives you a copy with the handwritten note whited out, then you know there may be issues. Though I would still fight him rather than be intimidated and stay in a lease that I was permitted to terminate early because he plans to lie about it. It is at that point you would consider engaging an attorney (like legal aid).
Of course, she should get a copy of the lease.
But re: other issues -- the fact pattern contains a major extralegal factor: the OP's current life circumstances.
Based on these and previous posts, the OP apears to be quite stressed in general. When additional -- and especially "surprise" -- stress is applied, the OP responds via reactive-immediate snap decisions. That neutralizes the irritant, but it's not always the most prudent thing (though the OP knows that).

Given the situation: It might be better for her to contract Legal Aid (or at least her caseworker) _now_, even to have them say, "It's not a problem," and-or advise her re: first thing to do (or not do), or call to make, if the issue arises in the future ... even if it's not a problem.

Because if this suddenly pops up in the future -- when she's already stressed, and dealing with her child, a move, new housing, et al (and _even if the lease business is not a problem_) -- that "surprise" might well trigger the following: (1) she'll respond snap-reactively, in a way that needlessly complicates matters; and-or (2) her upset about Surprise Issue X will create mass-overwhelm, and throw her off-track re: more pressing issues.

At base, we're all suggesting that she get an _opinion_, so that the issue, _if_ it arises, isn't entirely new, and she's prepped in some way. Due to circumstances, she already lacks control over a lot of things. And when you're in that position, and already are juggling a whole bushel of stressors, any negative surprise can blow you out of the water ... especially if (worst-case scenario) you have to "fight [the old landlord]" while trying to move into a new home.

So we're just trying to cut the "surprise" off at the pass -- when she has time/space to deal with it, since her move is at least six weeks off.
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