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What Kind of Cases Are Brought in Housing Court

Cases brought by tenants.

There are three main types of cases a tenant may bring against you: 1. Illegal Eviction proceedings. The tenant asks the court to order the landlord to let the him/her move back into the apartment if the tenant was illegally evicted. It is illegal to lock a tenant out of an apartment without bringing a proceeding in Housing Court. However, there are special exceptions involving orders of protection and squatters/licensees who have not lived in the apartment longer than 30 days and from whom you have not accepted any rent. You should consult an attorney before attempting to lock someone out of an apartment. If the landlord locks someone out of an apartment whom you have accepted as a tenant, without coming to Housing Court, there may be liability for triple the damages the tenant has suffered as a result of the lockout. There may also be liability for damages for wrongfully removing possessions.

2. Housing Part (“HP”) proceedings. The tenant asks the court to order the landlord to make repairs in the apartment or building.

3. 7A proceedings. One-third or more of the tenants in a building with six (6) units or more asks the court to take control of the building away from the landlord and give it to a court- supervised administrator. If the tenants win, an administrator is appointed and collects the rent and makes repairs.

Cases brought by landlords.

There are two types of cases a landlord can bring against a tenant:
1 Nonpayment cases. The landlord claims the tenant owes rent. The landlord sues to collect the overdue rent and to evict the tenant if the tenant does not or cannot pay the money.
2 Holdover cases. The landlord wants the tenant evicted for other reasons besides nonpayment of rent. For example, if the tenant has violated a lease provision, illegally put others in the apartment, has become a nuisance to other tenants, or is staying after a lease has expired, the landlord may bring a holdover case.

Cases brought by apartment roommates.

Holdover cases. If a roommate is not named on the original or subsequent lease, generally, the named roommate can bring a holdover action to evict the non-named roommate from the apartment.

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