Most cases in Housing Court are settled, meaning you and the tenant come to an agreement which is written down, signed by the Judge, and must be followed by both sides. When you sign a Stipulation of Settlement, you are making a binding legal agreement that must be followed. Therefore, be very careful to read the agreement, understand it, and be certain that you will be able to do everything you have promised. The court attorney can explain any details in the Stipulation of Settlement that you do not understand. If you have questions or doubts, you have the right to ask to speak to the Judge, who must approve your Stipulation of Settlement.
- In a nonpayment case, the tenant has a right to ask for repairs in the apartment, if they are necessary. However, if the tenant has not complained prior to the present case before the court; or the tenant has denied the landlord access to repair; or the requested repairs are not violations of the Housing Maintenance Code; then the landlord may negotiate not to have the rent payment contingent upon the repairs being completed.
- The landlord can work with the tenant to come up with a fair payment plan and do any necessary repairs.
- The landlord may negotiate an agreement that provides that you have to come back to the judge to get a final judgment and a warrant if the tenant does not comply with the stipulation. Or, the stipulation could provide for a final judgment that would not require the landlord to come back to the judge to seek a warrant of eviction. What a stipulation provides will depend on what the parties negotiate and the facts of the particular case.
- In a holdover case, you are not required to give up any payment that the tenant will owe for the months that they live in your apartment.
- The maximum amount of time a tenant can stay in an apartment where they have no legal right to stay (i.e., in a non-rent stabilized or rent controlled apartment where there is no lease or the lease has expired) is six months. Sometimes, however, if it means that the tenant will leave faster or there are repair issues, it may be reasonable to negotiate lowering the amount of use and occupancy during the holdover period.