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Old 11-05-2009, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
179 posts, read 645,251 times
Reputation: 69

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Our renter recently vacated the apt he was sharing with my husband (who often does work in that area) with no notice. The lease requires a written 30 day notice. When I wrote asking him to send us a written request to terminate the lease and the final months payment, he refused saying he lived under deplorable conditions (not true b/c my husband often stayed there too) and shouldn't have to pay and if we sued, he'd countersue under the Warrant of Habitability.
He has no valid arguments on the habitability claim but he also mentioned we did not have the proper rental license from the city, which is true. My question is this, is it worth it to go after the last months rent? He didn't pay a sec dep so I can't just keep that.
If he would countersue under the habitability claim, wouldn't the result of that just be that we had to fix whatever he was complaining about? And since he already moved out, thats a moot point. Or would a victory on his part mean he didn't have to pay the last months rent?
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:50 PM
 
26,809 posts, read 41,562,455 times
Reputation: 14995
If you have no license and need one...than you better not go after him and avoid getting in trouble your self.

Next time play by the rules...get the license...make a signed lease and get a sec. deposit...
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:03 PM
 
549 posts, read 1,934,827 times
Reputation: 759
If someone tried to rent me an apartment under the condition that the landlord would be staying in it whenever he wanted, but I would be paying rent, you would have a wrongful death suit against you because I would die laughing.

The first things coming to mind are: what does your husband look like, smell like, weigh, does he bathe, fart, snore and floss. I think you created a bizarre situation and the tenant got out when he could. Learn from it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:06 PM
 
4,399 posts, read 9,567,008 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy205 View Post
Our renter recently vacated the apt he was sharing with my husband (who often does work in that area) with no notice. The lease requires a written 30 day notice. When I wrote asking him to send us a written request to terminate the lease and the final months payment, he refused saying he lived under deplorable conditions (not true b/c my husband often stayed there too) and shouldn't have to pay and if we sued, he'd countersue under the Warrant of Habitability.
He has no valid arguments on the habitability claim but he also mentioned we did not have the proper rental license from the city, which is true. My question is this, is it worth it to go after the last months rent? He didn't pay a sec dep so I can't just keep that.
If he would countersue under the habitability claim, wouldn't the result of that just be that we had to fix whatever he was complaining about? And since he already moved out, thats a moot point. Or would a victory on his part mean he didn't have to pay the last months rent?
It is my understanding that since your apartment is illegal(is it an illegal apartment, or is this license just a formality?), that any agreement is also illegal and would not be enforced in court. But I'm not a lawyer. Are you sure the apt would still be illegal if it was owner occupied(your husband)? Sometimes those are different If its illegal you will also have to consider how much you will get fined by the city if he reports you. I'm not sure, if you think he will report you anyway I would sue.

This is something I found for San Fransico. I don't know what state you are in.

SFAA | The Risks of Renting Illegal Apartments | by Various Authors | November 2001

A.There are many non-permitted units in San Francisco. Most of them are basement or garage level “in laws,” which do not comply with building or planning code requirements. Although these units are illegal, the city inspectors do not look for them because they are an important source of housing in our limited market. Of course, if there is a complaint, then the building department will issue a notice of violation, requiring legalization or demolition of the unit.

These units cannot legally be rented since they have no permit of occupancy. Some tenants who live in them may claim that their rental agreement is an illegal contract and they do not have to pay rent. In a technical sense, they are right. The agreement is illegal and cannot be enforced in court. Any suit for back rent after a tenant vacates would be unsuccessful, and issues could arise over applying a security deposit to back rent after vacating.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
179 posts, read 645,251 times
Reputation: 69
I guess because it was illegal I will drop it but it still makes me angry.

By the way teachertype- this renter came in knowing it was a roommate type of situation. I guess I phrased it badly. My husband didn't just randomly pop- in. He typically stayed there 4 days a week and came home on the weekends. Its a big house- 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. They rarely even saw each other.
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Old 11-05-2009, 02:56 PM
 
4,399 posts, read 9,567,008 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy205 View Post
I guess because it was illegal I will drop it but it still makes me angry.

By the way teachertype- this renter came in knowing it was a roommate type of situation. I guess I phrased it badly. My husband didn't just randomly pop- in. He typically stayed there 4 days a week and came home on the weekends. Its a big house- 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. They rarely even saw each other.
Are you sure it is illegal since the owner lived there? If the owner lives there I don't know if its an illegal apt. I don't know of anyplace where you need a permit for a roomshare, but I've never lived in NY/NJ. You might get more help on the Jersey forum, there seems to be alot of illegal apartment issues in NY/NJ
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:12 PM
 
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
16,082 posts, read 25,264,751 times
Reputation: 18069
You can not sue for whats illegal. I hope he isn't aware of the licensing
issue, its in your best interest to drop the threats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy205 View Post
Our renter recently vacated the apt he was sharing with my husband (who often does work in that area) with no notice. The lease requires a written 30 day notice. When I wrote asking him to send us a written request to terminate the lease and the final months payment, he refused saying he lived under deplorable conditions (not true b/c my husband often stayed there too) and shouldn't have to pay and if we sued, he'd countersue under the Warrant of Habitability.
He has no valid arguments on the habitability claim but he also mentioned we did not have the proper rental license from the city, which is true. My question is this, is it worth it to go after the last months rent? He didn't pay a sec dep so I can't just keep that.
If he would countersue under the habitability claim, wouldn't the result of that just be that we had to fix whatever he was complaining about? And since he already moved out, thats a moot point. Or would a victory on his part mean he didn't have to pay the last months rent?
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Texas
475 posts, read 1,510,039 times
Reputation: 251
write it off as a lesson learned. next time dot your i's and cross the tees.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:13 AM
 
549 posts, read 1,934,827 times
Reputation: 759
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy205 View Post
I guess because it was illegal I will drop it but it still makes me angry.

By the way teachertype- this renter came in knowing it was a roommate type of situation. I guess I phrased it badly. My husband didn't just randomly pop- in. He typically stayed there 4 days a week and came home on the weekends. Its a big house- 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. They rarely even saw each other.
You created a foolish situation where you tried to have your cake and eat it too. Now, you're angry because it didn't work out entirely to your advantage. Some introspection is called for.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:23 AM
 
Location: East Coast
2,916 posts, read 4,828,111 times
Reputation: 4370
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddy205 View Post
My question is this, is it worth it to go after the last months rent? He didn't pay a sec dep so I can't just keep that.
Next time, you need to collect first month's rent, last month's rent, and security deposit right up front. That's what most landlords are doing these days...at least in my neck of the woods.
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