The Bronx, NY asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Holdover eviction case

My landlord has broken every right afforded to me under the law. How do I write an outline? How do I know what crimes I should organize my evidence under and how do I find out what penalties he could incur and if any how much money I can ask for? How do I work in pain and suffering and what is the max for that? With certain crimes like harrassment, disruption of peace, violation right to protest, overcharge, illegal forged lease, double biiling and trying to charge me for protesting, I almost lost my job. I have medical illnesses. He had a tenant he later evicted harrass me and this is all in retaliation to HPD and refusal of paying over my rental amount. He shut off my utilities and sabotaged my heater. He shows up during my work hours, whenever he wants to even when I say NO.How do i countersue how do I present all this. Another thing is can I make him restart because of the way the court letter was delivered?

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In preparing an outline for your case, begin by listing all the alleged violations and organize your evidence chronologically for each claim. Research the New York State Tenants' Rights Guide, which outlines landlord obligations and tenant rights, to identify potential legal breaches. To understand potential penalties and damages, you would look at state statutes and previous case law. You may be entitled to statutory damages, and for some violations, courts may award actual damages, including for pain and suffering, although there's typically a cap on such awards.

In cases of harassment and illegal actions by a landlord, a tenant can often sue for damages and seek injunctive relief. When documenting your claim for pain and suffering, detail how the landlord's actions directly caused distress or exacerbated your medical conditions. A counterclaim can be filed in response to an eviction proceeding, and you should present your evidence clearly and systematically, focusing on the most egregious violations. If proper procedure was not followed in the delivery of court documents, you could motion the court to dismiss the case, but this generally doesn't lead to restarting the process unless the error affects the case's legality or your ability to respond.

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

Steven Warren Smollens
Steven Warren Smollens
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Dear Bronx Tenant:

Generally, defenses based on violations, breach of the statutory warranty of habitability, and failure to make repairs are not allowed in Holdover Summary Proceedings. Harassment, as defined in the NYC Administrative Code, Retaliatory Eviction, and Wrongful Eviction are defenses useful when dealing with a Holdover.

Housing Court cannot deal with personal injury and the landlord's crimes.

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