I was robbed and NYPD won't help. Can you?
Read about it here:
What exactly are you asking people to do?
And why are all the site's posts from the same day?
I'm hoping people can recommend pro-bono lawyers, or have media connections, or can maybe kick a few bucks my way if they felt like it. The posts are from today because I just made the site today.
That's a rent controlled apartment (I'm going by the pics you posted)? I find this very hard to believe considering the kitchen alone. And no offense, but when you show pictures of what looks like a near luxury apartment and your trip to sunny Mexico, it's hard (for me at least) to emphasize with you in terms of your financial hard luck. If indeed you were illegally evicted, you need to hit L&T court, bring your lease, police reports, proof that you sent the checks and all correspondences with your landlord and his reps.
It's been a while since I've done housing court work, but I'll give this a shot. From my reading of her website, this eviction seems to have been approved by Housing Court.
Summer mentions getting served with papers in December, and trying to resolve it:
The problems began during the fall, when the building managed Dov Silberberg started refusing to cash the rent checks I sent. So I started to send checks through Bank of America, directly issued and sent by the bank.
In early December I came home one evening to find a Marshall’s notice on my door that an eviction was pending, so I went to the courthouse to show my financial records and that the checks had been sent by the bank and, also, finally debited from my account. It was my understanding that because of that proof, the whole case was dropped.
However, she does not mention getting any written evidence of the case's dismissal. The lack of this evidence, combined with the fact that the court seems to have never notified the landlord of the receipts she presented, likely allowed the clock to continue to tick until January 6th, when the landlord was given back possession of the premises.
We also do not know the reason for the eviction, and the details of what transpired before this notice was served. Landlords have to follow a process before evicting a tenant:
Since she was evicted in early January, I have to assume the notice she received in early December was a 30 day Notice of Eviction.
Please note that it has been over a decade since I've been housing court. My details may be fuzzy, but I can envision a few possibilities:
1. This all began due to an accounting error on the part of the landlord. The court then did not properly process the proof she provided to them, and the eviction clock continued to tick, striking when she was away. Summer seems to have no proof of submitting the receipts to court.
2. This began due to something other than a failure to pay rent. Summer may have received Notice to Cure Lease Violations for things like noise or disturbing other tenants, and then didn't show up in court to argue her side. If this was the case, the landlord can sometimes get the court's permission to stop accepting rent payments, then evict a tenant for the "hold over" lease violation and then (finally) seek payment for the rejected payments after the fact.
3. She overstayed her lease. Landlords can choose to not renew a tenant's lease for a variety of reasons, and it is partly on the tenant to ensure that they continue to have a valid lease in place. If a tenant's lease has expired, the landlord can choose to not accept payment because s/he wishes to exercise their right to rent the apartment to someone else. Once you are evicted, the landlord can then sue the tenant (or their co-signer) for the period they were in the lease, yet payment was rejected.
Summer, did the notice have any court dates on it? If you missed the court dates, the judge only heard the side of your landlord.
When a tenant is evicted, there are regulations that their stuff must be put in storage, but it is quite routine for their belongings to be carelessly handled and/or stolen. You should pick up what is left of your belongings and expect to have to pay a hefty storage and moving fee.
From her website, it seem the landlord is now pursuing Summer's mother for several months rent and possibly charges related to the eviction and move.
If you think it is worth your while, get a lawyer and see if s/he feels you have a case.
If they don't, you have likely just learned a very hard, very expensive, and perhaps very unfair, lessons:
a. Whenever you go to court, get a receipt.
b. Track your lease expiration date.
c. If you have a court date, always show up, even if you think the matter has been resolved beforehand. Not being present for court is one of the surefire ways of the other side winning.
To make a long story short, if there is a villain in this story, it might not be your landlord. It might be merely a sloppy clerk employed by the landlord and/or a clerk at the court house. ..and you may learn that have very little chance for recourse that does not further the damages you have already suffered.
...but talk to a few attorneys experienced in housing court before you give up.
My lease was NOT expired.
I was out of the country when the court date was held, and when the notice was served that ended in the eviction. The first was vacated and I did get a receipt.
s for the person who doesn't feel sorry for me: The trip was the first vacation I've ever taken, the airfare to Cancun is usually only $200 - you should try it, if you want a trip that doesn't cost much. I make $30,000 a year and, yes, the apartment was rent controlled. What little savings I had was eaten up by my lawyer fees and other expenses, and I'll remind people reading that LITERALLY everything I own was stolen from me. The eviction notice I received on December 9th was a 6 day notice, and it was vacated. I had the papers. In court we later learned that he had falsified affidavits saying he'd spoken to me and that I said I would not pay (I did not speak to him and had said no such thing). I did not overstay my lease, I was in the middle of a two year lease. The landlord has a long documented history of harassing tenants. I tried many times to contact the manager about the issue and was ignored. I worked hard to fix up that apartment and make it look nice, and I'm not sorry that I spent $500 on a trip to Mexico, that that somehow makes me seem unsympathetic. I struggled with serious painful heath condition for many years if that makes you feel less unsympathetic. Clearly, had I known I was about to lose everything I would not have gone on vacation, but I didn't.
As for my things, I was denied access to them and told they were no longer mine. None of the "shoulds" in this case have been true. And, as I said, there was no lease violation, the apartment was rent stabilized, and I had sent all the rent checks directly from my bank.
the landlord has routinely been refusing to take checks from me, even when mailed certified from the bank.
Also, the eviction was reversed in court. It was vacated and that was in the signed agreement, that I had officially never lost possession, but the landlord put someone else in the apartment anyway.
If you can show that the order was vacated prior to the day he removed your belongings, you might have a good case. You need to show a lawyer this paperwork.
Is he pursing your mom for the rent he believes was not paid prior to Jan 6? If so, your receipts should stay off the collection agencies that will follow if she does not pay before the court date.
You should go to court for your mother if she is unable to come from CA; bring a lawyer.
...it is odd that you did not receive any notices before the Notice of Eviction, there are processes that try to make sure the tenant is aware of their rights. Tenants given the opportunity to state their side.
Once you returned from vacation, was there a notice from the Marshall that you had been evicted, or did you simply learn about it because your keys no longer fit the door?
Did you pursue an escrow account to show you had the intent to pay? ....assuming the eviction was court sanctioned, somehow he was able to convince the court you were non paying and non responsive.
I know. I am pretty sure that they were intercepting the notices. It is the only thing I can think of.
I was called, while in Mexico, by another building tenant to tell me that there was an eviction notice on the door with my name on it. I learned over the next few days what had happened by calling the maintenance guy who worked on the building.
The checks were sent directly from my bank, and the amount is automatically debited from the account on the date the check is expected to be received.
There are still funds which he refuses to accept, but those have been waiting for him at housing court.
He falsified affidavits saying he spoke with me (he did not) and that I said I would not and could not pay. No such conversations took place, and co-workers can vouch for me that I was not at home then.
The easiest cases to win are when the lawyer does not involve housing court, and decided on their own to invade a tenants apartment and throw their stuff out. However, this is clearly not your scenario.
Your opponent was smart enough to use the court system, and (if you are correct) basically signed affidavits that you were behind in your rent even though you paid your rent. He then made sure you were not aware he was pursuing an eviction against you.
With the help of an attorney, you should be able to show that he received the money sent to him via the bank, and thus get it back.
However, I have one question: How did you end up giving housing court the funds that are presently waiting for him? Were these funds given to housing court after you were evicted? Were these funds given to housing court after you received your "six day notice"?
A lot what you assert will probably be unprovable. For example, you won't be able to prove you never talked to him.
You can try to prove he knew he had been paid, but he can state he didn't know he had been paid due to an error. You can show debits from your account, but this not as strong as a statement from his bookkeeper that shows your balance at zero.
Clearly you had success in vacating the Dec 15 eviction order, because you were allowed to stay afterward.
However, as evidenced by the Marshall's "The landlord not has possession of this property" notice on your door when you were away, he seems to have convinced the court that a January eviction was appropriate.
Your blog states that the housing court judge ruled in your favor and that you could return to your apartment. However, it is now filled with a new tenant.
A lawyer should be able to verify this with the court, and argue that your right to your former apartment trumps the present tenant's right to continue living there.
...I suspect that you want nothing to do with this landlord, and no longer wish to live one of his apartments. In this case, you need to find an attorney who will take a civil suit on a contingency basis ....this way you only have to pay s/he if you are awarded damages.
I have to say, some of the details of this case don't ring true to me, and I hope you're guilty of just exaggerating for effect and nothing larger:
"I pleaded and cried on the phone for more than an hour, until finally he said he would send some officers over to speak with me."
You were on the phone with the local precinct for over an hour?
When cops arrived, they said “You’re pretty stupid for not going to check out that location. This looks like it was your fault to us. You shouldn’t have gotten yourself evicted” ?
Lisa from the storage unit place said "tough shit" when you said you were evicted? And when you questioned the legitimacy of their business, she said "“You fucking figure it out, bitch” ?
These sound like characters from a bad pulp novel to me.
summer, NYC has an inordinate amount of laws to protect renters. (we have a tenant who absolutely shouldn't have a rent-subsidized home here, and getting rid of her is an impossibility.)
this thread is TL:DR. you need an attorney, and you need one now. this is what the emergency credit card is for. i don't care about your trips, or whatever. i'm sure many of us can give you the names of decent real estate attorneys. yes, it will cost you $$. no, i don't know that you will be able to get that $$ back from your landlord. just call an attorney, TODAY, and get yourself protected and represented.
(note: i am not against renters or their laws, even though this post would suggest otherwise.)
The Daily News covered this story yesterday, but doesn't provide any new details:
I wonder if Summer received a few calls from lawyers as a result of the Daily News exposure, and whether they feel this case has the potential of a payout.
also in FIPS, but no more details. which make me less sympathetic than i'd like to be
It's hard for me to believe, simply because courts mostly favor tenants and bias against landlords.
Even if I assume her version of the story is accurate, I would encourage her to exercise caution in how she is describing him to the press.
Those who try to get even via public opinion often get burned, and/or reduce their chances of getting a fair day in court.
Like it or not, Freedom of Speech has limits....
I'd hate for her to be found liable a defamation/slander suit for alleging her landlord acted in a manner that he actually did....
1)yes, I was on the phone with a few different people at the 78th precinct. I was on hold at some points, and yes the phone call took over an hour.
2) In housing court, the settlement stipulated that I hand over funds to the landlord on the day that an updated lease was signed. But the landlord would not respond to make that transaction.
3) I have an attorney.
4) Yes, it is all pretty crazy. I can't believe the things I have been told and the people I have encountered.
5) I have records that my checks were sent directly from Bank of America, and that the funds were debited from my account at that time. So it is quite easy, in fact, to prove that a) the checks were sent and b) that they were good checks.
6) I know things are supposed to be tenant friendly in NYC. That is why all of this is so frustrating and shocking.
7) I asked for my post about this to be taken down, but no one responded to me. Everything here is true - and my blog has some scanned documents and photos, etc. But I was really looking for help and the lack of both sympathy and help here was saddening.Part of why I took to the internet after nearly three months of dealing with this was precisely BECAUSE it all seemed so crazy, impossible, unfair, melodramatic and out of control.
I did not receive calls from lawyers.
9) I can prove I did not speak to my landlord, because he signed an affidavit saying he spoke to me on a certain day at a certain time, and at that time I was at work, with my team, covering a specific meeting. It's again quite easy to prove. I work at the UN.
10) Anyway, Admins - posting here was a mistake - can you please please respond to my messages to take this post down? Thanks.
In your quest to obtain what you perceive as justice, I fear you may be doing yourself further harm.
Briefly, you describe your landlord as being "from hell" and are presently in a protracted court battle to move back into a one of his units. From what you write, even if you are successful, you may not be able to live in the unit you previously occupied.
To me, this seems like a really bad idea. I can't imagine being able to live harmoniously in such a situation. I can't imagine signing a lease with a landlord that I believed was capable of such things, and that living in one of his units under such a lease would be healthy for me.
While such advice may be hard to take, in the long run, you may be best off if you drop the housing court case and find a new apartment.
Then, once you some time has passed, you can decide whether or not to pursue the matter in civil court.
Whether we like it or not, real and perceived injustices often have no solution. In other words, put a value on your emotional health. You may find that the emotional cost of "letting him get away with it", is less than the emotional cost of "winning".
If you need to hear this advice from someone whom you never met, and does not go by whynot_31 on a local message board, I understand.