Can my landlord evict/sue me for unpaid rent after he is given a temporary C/O?

Me and my fiance rented out an apartment that had no issues in the beginning but we started noticing problems. The landlord refused to fixed the problems and we also found out he did not have a C/O; we began withholding rent. He has recently received a temporary C/O. Can he evict or sue us for the rent that we have been withholding and should we begin paying him rent until our lease runs out (assuming he has also addressed the problems)?

Asked on December 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Ok, you have participated in what is known as "self help" by withholding rent.  Judges in New York do not look kindly upon tenants that take it upon themselves to remedy a situation.  What you need to do immediately is to go down to landlord tenant court and start a proceeding to allow you to deposit the rent in to court and to force the landlord to fix all the violations or whatever else you are concerned about that may effect your warranty of habitability.  Deposit all the rent owed to date.  What you will request from the court is an abatement of the rent for the time that the condition or conditions existed.  Yes, I think he can evict you now.  So hurry.

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