If my property did not have a C/O when the lease was signed and for several months thereafter, can I obtain a rent abatement to be applied towards unpaid rent?

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2011

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If my property did not have a C/O when the lease was signed and for several months thereafter, can I obtain a rent abatement to be applied towards unpaid rent?

My landlord has started an eviction proceeding against me claiming more than $21,000 in back rent, additional rent, and attorney’s fees. However, when he made the lease a year ago, he did not have a valid C/O and did nothing to obtain the C/O until 5 months later. Can the money that he collected during this time be used to offset any monies owed in the eviction proceeding? Is there any case law where this has been granted/ utilized?

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written about, it sounds as though you entered into a commercial lease for the rental that is the subject of this question. You need to understand that under the laws of most states, there is a big distinction between commercial leases and residential leases.

The laws of most states deem tenants who enter into a commercial lease (as opposed to a residential lease) as being more sophisticated and astute. As such, there are less protections under the law for commercial tenants as opposed to residential tenants.

With respect to your question, all monies that you have paid where the presumed check has cleared for the rental are to be used as an offset for any monies claimed owed under the commercial lease. 

There is much case law in your state allowing offset credit for monies paid in a landlord tenant dispute.

Given the size of the claim, it is recommended that you retain a landlord tenant attorney to assist you in the defense of this matter.

Good luck.

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