Renters At Risk In Foreclosure Crisis Rely On Short-Term Federal Law

Renters At Risk In Foreclosure Crisis Rely On Short-Term Federal Law
Huffington Post
December 17, 2012
by Lucia Graves

A key law that has prevented millions of low-income tenants from becoming homeless is set to expire at the end of the 113th Congress, kicking off what experts warn could be a new wave of evictions.

Homelessness is up 16 percent among families in major cities since the beginning of the foreclosure crisis, according to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the number of renters affected by foreclosure has tripled in the past three years.

Entire Rent History Must Be Weighed in Disputes, Panel Says

Entire Rent History Must Be Weighed in Disputes, Panel Says
by Brendan Pierson
New York Law Journal
December 5, 2012

The new stabilized rent of an apartment that had been illegally deregulated must be based on its entire rent history, not just the last four years, a state appellate panel said yesterday. The ruling is the latest in a series of tenant-friendly decisions to emerge in the wake of the Court of Appeals' 2009 ruling that apartments in buildings receiving J-51 tax benefits cannot be deregulated.

The Appellate Division, First Department, ruled in 72A Realty v. Lucas, 570514/10, that the four-year statute of limitations for rent overcharge actions does not apply when an apartment has been illegally deregulated, partly reversing a June 2011 decision by the Appellate Term.

Justices Angela Mazzarelli, David Saxe, Leland DeGrasse, Rosalyn Richter and Sheila Abdus-Salaam joined the unsigned opinion.

Tipping the Scales in Housing Court

The New York Times
by Matthew Desmond
Cambridge, Mass.
November 29, 2012

It’s easy to tell who’s going to win in eviction court. On one side of the room sit the tenants: men in work uniforms, mothers with children in secondhand coats, confused and crowded together on hard benches. On the other side, often in a set-aside space, are not the landlords but their lawyers: dark suits doing crossword puzzles and joking with the bailiff as they casually wait for their cases to be called.

Millions of Americans face eviction every year. But legal aid to the poor, steadily starved since the Reagan years, has been decimated during the recession. The result? In many housing courts around the country, 90 percent of landlords are represented by attorneys and 90 percent of tenants are not. This imbalance of power is as unfair as the solution is clear.

Landlord-Tenant Obligations in Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Landlord-Tenant Obligations in Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Damon Howard
New York Law Journal
November 13, 2012

In the days following Hurricane Sandy, many New Yorkers returned to their homes and businesses to discover severe damage or to find that they had lost power, heat, hot water or elevator service. At the same time, many owners and landlords, some with mortgages to pay, are expecting November rent. As landlords and tenants grapple with these issues, many are asking what their rights and obligations are under New York law. While much of the relevant law in this area stems from litigation between landlords and tenants, it is hoped that these precedents will not serve to arm parties in conflict but to provide a path to conciliation.

Rent Stabilization: Owner Can't Give Back J-51 Benefits

Rent Stabilization: Owner Can't Give Back J-51 Benefits
Warren A. Estis and Jeffrey Turkel
New York Law Journal
11-07-2012

In Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Props.,[FN1] the Court of Appeals held in 2009 that high-rent and high-income luxury deregulation under the Rent Stabilization Law (RSL) are not available where a rent-stabilized building is receiving J-51 tax benefits. In Roberts, the dissenters in the Court of Appeals predicted that "[i]t will take years of litigation over many novel questions to deal with the fallout from today's decision."[FN2] That prediction, as this article establishes, has proven true.

Renters Settle Class Action Over Outdated Credit Reports

Renters Settle Class Action Over Outdated Credit Reports
by Gavin Broady
Law360, New York (October 25, 2012, 2:34 PM ET)

A housing consumer credit service agreed Wednesday to pay more than $1 million to settle a nationwide class action brought in New York by jilted renters claiming it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by reporting outdated court judgments to landlords.

Sunset Park Rent Strikers Pack Brooklyn Court

Sunset Park Rent Strikers Pack Brooklyn Court
Village Voice
by Nick Pinto
August 3, 2012

Sunset Park residents engaged in a protracted rent strike packed into a Brooklyn courtroom this morning to find out the fate of their three apartment buildings.

Lawsuit Seeks to Block City on Evictions

Lawsuit Seeks to Block City on Evictions
Wall Street Journal
by Michael Howard Saul
July 18, 2012

Thousands of low-income families in New York City are at risk of becoming homeless because they have been blocked from applying to a rental-assistance program designed to ward off eviction, a lawsuit contends.

Ditmas Park tenants say 'No Way!' to landlords' demands for rent hike to pay for building repairs

Ditmas Park tenants say ‘No Way!’ to landlords’ demands for rent hike to pay for building repairs

New York Daily News
by Mark Morales
July 16, 2012

Tenants at 596 E. 22nd St. say they can't afford an $80 a room hike to pay for new boilers, windows and roof; landlord says that boost won't cover 'a fraction' of the repair costs

Video: Tenants take worst landlord in NYC to court for over 700 violations

PIX11 News by Kirstin Cole July 9, 2012

Watch Video after the jump.

Tenants in a building owned by one of New York City's biggest slumlord are fighting back. The building they live in has over 700 violations including mice, cockroaches, ceilings falling down, the list goes on and on. These tenants want them all fixed. They are attempting to get the city to appoint an outside administrator to collect the rent and actually fix the violations with the money. But the landlord Eli Abbott, who never actually shows up to court, has hired a lawyer who knows how to play the system and ensure that nothing gets done.

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