U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate > Renting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 05-11-2009, 12:32 PM
 
13 posts, read 76,147 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

I have been renting a room in private house for a about a year and the landlord/owner started a non-payment petition against me and another tenant. The other tenant isn't really her tenant, infact she is a relative of the landlord. This particular tenant lives in another state and doesn't live in the house. The landlord lied to her attorney and the courts by telling them that she is renting out an apartment and has a lease with this tenant. She told her lawyer that she is renting out an apartment when infact she is renting out rooms/single room occupancy(rooming house) to me and other tenants on the second floor of her house. she even went as far as to write up a fake lease with this tenant.

I am also listed as one of the respondents in the petition but I was never served with any court papers. The way i found out about the case is through another tenant who told me that the landlord told him that the marshals were coming to put a lock on the door. I became suspicious so i went to the court house in order to find out whether or not there was an eviction case out on me. When i found out my name was in the non-payment- petition, i provided an answer and i appeared in court on the court date. When i appeared on the court date, my landlord wasn't present nor was her relative(the other tenant in the petition) but the landlord's lawyer appeared on her hehalf and he ajourned the case. I believe my landlord is trying to evict me behind my back. I don't think she expected me to know about the petition and was hoping that i wouldn't show up to court. I believe she is trying to get a default judgment against, so she can start an eviction without me knowing about it. Unfortunately for her, i found out about the petition and i answered and now she is making up lies.

The landlord is claiming that she is renting out an apartment, but she rents out rooms on the second floor and in her basement. The only apartment in the house is the one occupied by her. There is a seprate entrance that leads to the second floor where there is three rooms and a bathroom. There isn't a kitchen or a living room on that floor.

I don't believe i owe the landlord rent. The reason why she wants me out is because a few months ago, i wrote her several letters threatening to withould a percentage of my rent because of things that needed to be fixed in my room, a serious mold problem in the bathroom, lack of heat, electrical problems and an alcoholic tenant who kept harassing me as well as other tenants and who would smoke in the house after being told he couldn't. The other issue had to do with her accepting cash payments for the rent and not providing a receipt. Even when i asked her to sign a reciept she absolutely refused, so i refused to give her anymore rent unless she provided a receipt. Ever since then she has stopped collecting rent from me as well as another tenants. Since then she has been trying to get us out of the house through harassment(turning off the electricity,breaking the shower nob, verbal abuse and etc.) and intimidation, and because i didn't want to give her the satisfaction, i didn't leave, and don't plan on leaving until a marshal sends me a notice.

i believe i am living in an illegal conversion, and that's why she wouldn't provide a receipt and she is retaliating against me for complaining. She is running some kind of scam and writing up fake leases and has a fake petition against tenants that don't exist.

She has a lawyer representing her and i don't. IM SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT IN THREE WEEKS AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT I HAVE SOME GOOD DEFENSES AND HOW I SHOULD GO ABOUT PLEADING MY CASE?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-11-2009, 01:02 PM
 
850 posts, read 2,812,098 times
Reputation: 641
Sorry, but it doesn't sound like you have a case. Regardless of the circumstances, you haven't been paying rent. That's all a judge will look at. The law is pretty black and white in that regard. And I find it hard to believe the landlord is refusing to accept rent. No landlord in their right mind would do that. Maybe she's refusing to accept your cash, which is perfectly acceptable. Who knows. Your story is tough to follow. Her relationships and contracts with the other tenants are irrelavant. Yours is the only one that matters. The wording of "apartment" vs. "room" really don't matter. If you think it's an illegal residence, contact your local housing department. As far as your maintance concerns and withholding rent, not all states allow that, you'd have to check with yours. As far as the harrasing tenant, your landlord has no control over that and you should take it up with the police.

Basically, it sounds like you owe the rent and you need to pay it.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 01:56 PM
 
13 posts, read 76,147 times
Reputation: 11
My landlord is not refusing to accept my rent, she is refusing to provide a receipt. I live in New York, if a landlord is willing to accept cash as payment for rent, they are required by law to provide a receipt. Also in the state of New York, a tenant can withhold rent if a landlord refuses to fix things. Also landlord retaliation is prohibited in New York, a landlord cannot try to illegally or legally evict a tenant for complaining about the living conditions. I believe the reason she is refusing to provide a receipt is because she doesn't want a paper trail that proves she has been collecting rent on an illegal apartment.

As far as the other tenant that was harassing me...i called the police and the police wouldn't do anything about it because, according to the law a person can say what they want to you as long as they don't threaten you with a weapon. I also tried to go to criminal court and get a order of protection against this tenant, but they refused to grant me one because of the living arrangements. They also said that it was a landlord/tenant issue and the landlord refused to do anything about this tenant.

If she was not providing receipts how can she prove that i owe her back rent? by her refusing to provide a receipt, she basically refused to accept the rent. She ended the contract by refusing to accept the rent, she even broke the law, so how could she prove that i owe her anything? She started the eviction process by asking me to move out after I complained about the living environment and by refusing to provide a receipt, so how can she then say i owe her back rent?

She doesn't really want to collect rent from me, she wants to get me evicted and has a sneaky way of going about it. She named me in a petition and didn't serve me with papers hoping i would not find out about the case, so therefore i wouldn't show up to court and she can then get a default judgement against me. If I didn't show up to court, i could have been evicted and i would have had a default judgement on my record.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 02:00 PM
 
13 posts, read 76,147 times
Reputation: 11
I also tried to give her a money order one time and she gave it back, she said she doesn't want checks, money orders, she just wants cash.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,593 posts, read 22,433,718 times
Reputation: 6069
What a mess, I would check out the illegal conversion thing, find out if she converted the house illegally as you say. Thats going to be against her. I don't know if its available but I would look for some cheap or free legal aid in your area.

I had always heard that if you rent and they refuse to fix something you have a right to with hold rent but I am not a lawyer. This idea of her not wanting to give a receipt and ONLY accepting cash is worrying as well.

You would be better off out of this situation but I assume its difficult to find another place to live.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 04:00 PM
 
850 posts, read 2,812,098 times
Reputation: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaxum36 View Post
My landlord is not refusing to accept my rent, she is refusing to provide a receipt. I live in New York, if a landlord is willing to accept cash as payment for rent, they are required by law to provide a receipt. Also in the state of New York, a tenant can withhold rent if a landlord refuses to fix things. Also landlord retaliation is prohibited in New York, a landlord cannot try to illegally or legally evict a tenant for complaining about the living conditions. I believe the reason she is refusing to provide a receipt is because she doesn't want a paper trail that proves she has been collecting rent on an illegal apartment.

As far as the other tenant that was harassing me...i called the police and the police wouldn't do anything about it because, according to the law a person can say what they want to you as long as they don't threaten you with a weapon. I also tried to go to criminal court and get a order of protection against this tenant, but they refused to grant me one because of the living arrangements. They also said that it was a landlord/tenant issue and the landlord refused to do anything about this tenant.

If she was not providing receipts how can she prove that i owe her back rent? by her refusing to provide a receipt, she basically refused to accept the rent. She ended the contract by refusing to accept the rent, she even broke the law, so how could she prove that i owe her anything? She started the eviction process by asking me to move out after I complained about the living environment and by refusing to provide a receipt, so how can she then say i owe her back rent?
Which one is it? Is she refusing to take the rent or not? It's a simple issue. It's your responsibility to pay the rent. If she doesn't provide you with a receipt, then you can protect yourself be showing a withdrawl receipt from your bank for the amount of the rent and then take action on her about her violating the law. But it's not up to you do be able to decide you don't pay rent. When was the last time you paid her? You can't skate away from your obligations on a technicality that she didn't want to provide you with a receipt.

As far as being served, it's not up to her to serve you, it's up to the Sheriff's department or local law enforcement, so that's not on her.

And again, as far as the harassing tenant, at no time is a landlord ever responsible for the relationship between tenants. And if it was bad enough, the courts would have issued you a restraining order. The living arrangements don't make any difference. How do you think a husband or wife living in the same house in a domestic abuse situation get restraining orders? If the complaint is a genuine threat, they will take action.

If you think she's trying to evict you because of your complaints, then you need to go to Legal Aid and get a lawyer. But if you haven't been paying rent, you don't have a leg to stand on. The rent is your responsibility to pay. There are steps you could have taken to get it paid and you didn't.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 06:34 PM
 
14,029 posts, read 25,855,451 times
Reputation: 8188
Sounds like you've had to endure a lot...

My advice is to not spend another minute in that mold infested place and that will teach him a lesson...

I'd be packed and moved today... why go through all the hassles when there our so many good units available and owners that want your business.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 12-11-2013 at 05:07 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 06:44 PM
 
Location: GA
2,586 posts, read 6,600,331 times
Reputation: 886
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaxum36 View Post
My landlord is not refusing to accept my rent, she is refusing to provide a receipt. I live in New York, if a landlord is willing to accept cash as payment for rent, they are required by law to provide a receipt. Also in the state of New York, a tenant can withhold rent if a landlord refuses to fix things. Also landlord retaliation is prohibited in New York, a landlord cannot try to illegally or legally evict a tenant for complaining about the living conditions. I believe the reason she is refusing to provide a receipt is because she doesn't want a paper trail that proves she has been collecting rent on an illegal apartment.

As far as the other tenant that was harassing me...i called the police and the police wouldn't do anything about it because, according to the law a person can say what they want to you as long as they don't threaten you with a weapon. I also tried to go to criminal court and get a order of protection against this tenant, but they refused to grant me one because of the living arrangements. They also said that it was a landlord/tenant issue and the landlord refused to do anything about this tenant.

If she was not providing receipts how can she prove that i owe her back rent? by her refusing to provide a receipt, she basically refused to accept the rent. She ended the contract by refusing to accept the rent, she even broke the law, so how could she prove that i owe her anything? She started the eviction process by asking me to move out after I complained about the living environment and by refusing to provide a receipt, so how can she then say i owe her back rent?

She doesn't really want to collect rent from me, she wants to get me evicted and has a sneaky way of going about it. She named me in a petition and didn't serve me with papers hoping i would not find out about the case, so therefore i wouldn't show up to court and she can then get a default judgement against me. If I didn't show up to court, i could have been evicted and i would have had a default judgement on my record.
If she doesn't give a receipt, how can you prove you paid? I would never give a landlord cash unless I received a receipt. You could give a landlord money orders. If they aren't cashed, that the landlord's choice. You could show up in court with a money order and the judge will make her accept it, assuming the eviction is only for non-payment. Good luck!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 06:49 PM
 
Location: southern california
49,726 posts, read 46,804,402 times
Reputation: 40956
you want to live there but you dont want to pay the rent.
that is why she is going to court with you.
no other reason.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-11-2009, 07:24 PM
 
13 posts, read 76,147 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babytarheelz View Post
Which one is it? Is she refusing to take the rent or not? It's a simple issue. It's your responsibility to pay the rent. If she doesn't provide you with a receipt, then you can protect yourself be showing a withdrawl receipt from your bank for the amount of the rent and then take action on her about her violating the law. But it's not up to you do be able to decide you don't pay rent. When was the last time you paid her? You can't skate away from your obligations on a technicality that she didn't want to provide you with a receipt.

As far as being served, it's not up to her to serve you, it's up to the Sheriff's department or local law enforcement, so that's not on her.

And again, as far as the harassing tenant, at no time is a landlord ever responsible for the relationship between tenants. And if it was bad enough, the courts would have issued you a restraining order. The living arrangements don't make any difference. How do you think a husband or wife living in the same house in a domestic abuse situation get restraining orders? If the complaint is a genuine threat, they will take action.

If you think she's trying to evict you because of your complaints, then you need to go to Legal Aid and get a lawyer. But if you haven't been paying rent, you don't have a leg to stand on. The rent is your responsibility to pay. There are steps you could have taken to get it paid and you didn't.

I never decided i wasn't going to pay her rent. I offered her the rent in cash, like she requested and she wouldn't take it...i can't force her to accept my rent, nor can i force her to sign a receipt...if she wanted the rent bad enough she would have signed the receipt. But she doesn't care about the money, The last time she got rent from me was in September. But she decided to go to court in April...and the only reason why she took me to court is because her plan to get me of the house through harassment didn't work. After i sent her a letter/certified regarding the rent, she responded with a litter asking me to move out within a week or less, instead of the required 30 days. If it was up to her i would have been out by then. But i refused to give her the satisfaction, I was a good tenant who paid their rent on time, and i don't deserve how i'm being treated. I am a tenant and i have rights...if she wanted me out of her house, there is a certain way she has to go about it. She shouldn't have file a non-payment case against me, when she Knows she doesn't care about the rent.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate > Renting

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top