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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118789
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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My landlord and I have a court date scheduled morning. On

Customer Question

My landlord and I have a court date scheduled for this morning. On March 14, I received a notice of petition without a call or any prior formal warning. They hung the petition on my door, and left it for me a week after they filed it. Also the attached a three day notice to it which I never received. The three day notice describes it individual that does not look like me. I live alone and I was at work so no one was in my apartment to receive it. In the petition the landlord claims that I did not pay two months rent, however I paid January rent prior to receiving the notice of petition for nonpayment (which he claims I still all even though he's cashed the payment); and February rent which I sent to him via express mail return receipt requested along with the late payment charge and legal fees charge. To this day he still has not pick up his mail from the post office.
My lease recently expired February 28th, but I renewed just shortly before it expired. Further, I told the landlord that I was moving out mid lease (by early summer) and we made an agreement that once I provide official notice and a vacate date I would, in turn, allow him to show the apartment so that I could get my security back when I leave.
I was unemployed for sometime and doing contract jobs before this so my rent was late for a little while, but never more than a month behind. My landlord was aware of my situation because I had discussed it with him and he seemed understanding and amenable to working things out as long as I paid even if I paid late. I always paid.
I think this is happening because I renewed my lease and I asked to get my security back. A major home-improvement was done in my bathroom last year due to a plumbing issue that I did not cause.
I have proof of everything for court. Registered mail pieces and tracking data, copies of money orders and cancelled checks I used to pay rent and send correspondence.
I want the case dismissed, not merely settlers because I wasn't served properly, and I paid my debt. I don't want my tenancy record damaged in nyc where they blacklist folks for having a court record
What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If the landlord received payment at the place where he instructs tenants to mail or deliver payment, whether he went to pick it up or not is not the tenant's problem. Furthermore, if you did not receive the 3 day notice before the suit, that is grounds to dismiss the suit right there. At this point when you go to court today, you need to make an oral motion to dismiss and explain to the court 1) you never received 3 day notice as required by law and 2) you have your proof (bring it with you) that payments were sent to where the landlord directed tenants to send them and as such rent according to the law has been paid and as such the landlord has received and accepted payment and there is no basis legally for eviction based on non-payment of rent.