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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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i live in a basement apartment in yonkers and i had a 2 year

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i live in a basement illegal apartment in yonkers and i had a 2 year lease (typed agreement that doesn't have the rent amount on it just say's only 1 person in apt/don't burn too much electricity/ no AC ect) my lease was up 12/10. i lived out my security (agrreed upon by landlady) unfortunately i did'nt get my loan for the purchase of my own place. i asked if i could renew my lease and landlady said yes. i asked the terms landlady said the same terms/ same rent (i pay $850 so i decided to stay even w/all the issues ie: she doesn't clean the snow and ice. refuses to repair anything and there is mold around the baseboard in the LR. but for $850 i could deal w/that a little while longer. now after i spent my moving money to pay off bills because i thought i was staying. landlady puts a typed letter in my mail box stating she has a friend who is willing to pay her $950 and she wants me out by 3/30. what can i do. i can't afford to move @ this point.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If you don't have a written lease agreement, the landlord can ask you to move on 30 days notice. Unfortunately, there is no right to stay in the absence of a valid lease. In this case, because the apartment is illegal, there would be no right to stay even if there were a signed lease agreement.

You can report her to the New York Housing Authority for renting an illegal apartment, but there is nothing in the law that would give you a right to stay, because you're not allowed to be there in the first place.

I apologize that the law in this area is not more favorable. Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what happens if i don't move? i don't think she'll take me to court because she's afraid of being fined for an illegal apt. also can i sue her for back rent that i've paid over the last 2 yrs and request moving money?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
If you don't move, she can have you evicted. She can't sue you for rent, though, because she's not entitled to rent.

There is no right to sue the landlord for back rent paid. In an illegal contract, the judge leaves the parties as he finds them - that means that she would get to keep the money. It also isn't considered fair to return the rent, because that would mean that you got a free place to live for two years. There's also, unfortunately, no right to moving money. In a lease situation, it's presumed that you eventually would have moved anyway, so the tenant isn't entitled to additional money for moving.
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