How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 30180
Experience:  Attorney
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was a tenant under lease from 12/2014 until 04/2015. I stayed

Customer Question

I was a tenant under lease from 12/2014 until 04/2015. I stayed an extra week 5/01 until 05/07/2015. I offered to pay for 1 week and now the landlord wants much more. Am I responsible if no additional lease was signed or agreed to.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
What state are you in?
Did the landlord agree in advance that you could stay through 5/7? And if so, did you get that in writing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
New York. No, only verbally after he told me to get out by the end of April and I told him we couldn't.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not even sure if it is a legal 2 family home. He rented the downstairs to some one else.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but under New York law, a tenant who overstays a lease is liable for DOUBLE the rent for those extra days. N.Y. Real Prop. Laws and Rules, Section 232-c. That's what he'll get if he sues you. There is never a legal right to stay even a single day beyond when the lease ends without the landlord's consent.
If the landlord had a new tenant prepared to move in on May 1 and that tenant couldn't move in because you were still there, then you're also reasonable for any costs the landlord incurred as a result of the place not being available.
You have the option of trying to reach an agreement to avoid a lawsuit for double the rent. That could mean paying less or paying in installments until the debt is gone. The only other option is to talk to a bankruptcy attorney about whether you may be able to discharge the debt, or let the landlord get a judgment and see if he's able to collect it. New York law says that a person with a judgment against you can garnish 10% of your wages from each paycheck.
If you wind up in court, the judge isn't allowed to consider why you couldn't move, or what your financial situation is, or any of the things that made you decide to stay - he's only allowed to look at when the lease ended and when you actually left.
He's not entitled to rent if the property isn't a legal rental unit. That may be your best option in this situation, so call the city to find out if there's a certificate of occupancy. You'd also be able to countersue for conditions in the any conditions in the property that presented a danger to your health and safety. That might help reduce what you'd otherwise have to pay the landlord.
If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.