Checklist of Items to Bring With You to Housing Court:
__ All court papers and other papers you have received from your landlord.
__ Your lease and renewal leases, if you have them.
__ If the case is for nonpayment of rent, bring proof of your rent payments. Bring rent receipts, canceled checks or copies of money orders.
__ Records of all your apartment and building problems, including problems with heat, hot water and all other repairs and services.
__ Photographs of all problems in your apartment or building. Label the photograph with the date it was taken and what is pictured.
__ Copies of letters or other documents you sent to the landlord, superintendent or government agencies (and proof, if you have it, that the letters were mailed and received) regarding problems with your apartment or building.
__ Lists of the dates on which you talked with the landlord, superintendent or other building staff about problems in your apartment or building and what you said.
__ Receipts for labor and materials for any repairs that you made.
Anything else you believe will help your case.
If your case is scheduled for a hearing or trial, also bring all witnesses you want to testify. Your witnesses must be present for the hearing or trial because in general, sworn statements and affidavits are not permitted at a hearing or at trial.
Things To Keep In Mind:
1. Issuing a Subpoena: If you have trouble getting documents or witnesses that you need, you can ask the Clerk or Judge to issue a subpoena. A subpoena is a court order that directs someone, including a government agency, to come to court on a particular date either to testify or to produce a document. You should ask for and serve a subpoena at least 48 hours before the trial date. There are subpoena forms in the Landlord-Tenant Clerk’s Office. The Clerk will explain how to fill out the subpoena and give it to a Judge to sign if necessary.
2. Proof of Conversations: bring any follow-up letters that you sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to your landlord or superintendent after you had conversations with them, as proof of those conversations.
3. Proof of Letters Sent: Sending letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, is a good idea since that will give you proof of mailing and receipt.