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Rent Deposits in Housing Court Eviction Proceedings

The law now requires that the court shall direct upon an application by the landlord that the tenant deposit into court all rents which accrue from the date the Petition and Notice of Petition are served upon the tenant in any of the following events:

  1. after two (2) adjournments as the request of the tenant, or
  2. upon the thirtieth (30th) day after the first (1st) appearance of the parties in the court less any days that the proceedings was adjourned at the request of the landlord, whichever occurs sooner.

Exception: if the tenant establishes at a hearing, that he has properly interposed one of the following defenses:

  1. the landlord is not proper party;
  2. actual or constructive eviction; or
  3. lack of jurisdiction.

Additionally, the tenant may deduct any sums used to pay the landlord’s utility bills and/or for fuel oil at the building.

If the tenant does not comply with the payment requirements, the court upon application by the landlord must dismiss without prejudice the defenses and counterclaims interposed by the tenant and grant judgment for the landlord unless the tenant can prove that she has paid the sums demanded. Note: if the apartment is located in a building containing twelve (12) or fewer units, the court shall require that any undisputed amount be paid directly to the landlord and that any disputed amount be deposited with the court.

Additionally, the law now requires, that if a tenant seeks a non-default post judgment Order to Show Cause and more than five (5) days have elapsed since the judgment, there shall be no stay of the tenants eviction unless the tenant has paid the judgment amount to the landlord or has deposited the full amount of such judgment with the clerk of the court.

Issue concerning Rent Deposits tend to be very complicated and time consuming. Parties should speak with an attorney before proceeding. We offer complimentary consultations and you are welcome to schedule your complimentary-no obligation consultation by calling us at 212-921-1600.

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