Repairs and Violations
A case for repairs that you start against your landlord in Housing Court. It can be for conditions in your apartment or in the public areas of your building. You can file by yourself or with a group of tenants.
What Steps Can I Take Before I File an HP Action?
- Keep a list of the repairs you need. Include as much detail as possible.
- Write a letter to the landlord listing the repairs you need. Send the letter by certified mail.
- Call 311 to file a complaint with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). You are not required to call HPD before you file an HP action.
How Do I File an HP Action?
- Get the forms to start an HP action from the clerk in Housing Court. There are different forms for repairs and harassment.
- Write your landlord's name and address on the forms. You cannot use a PO Box. You need the address of the landlord's office or home. You can sue the owner of the building, the managing agent for the building, or both.
- Fill out an inspection request. List exactly what is wrong with the apartment and public areas of the building. Write only one condition per line. Use another form if you need more space to write.
- Turn the papers in to the clerk.
- The judge will read and sign your papers. The clerk will schedule the inspection and a date to return to court. You will get several copies of the papers.
What if I don't know the landlord's name and address? Find the landlord's name and address by calling 311 or going to HPD Online. Or use the ACRIS website to search property records. Staten Island contact the county clerk.
Do I have to pay to file a case? It costs $45 to file the case. You can pay with cash, money order, or bank check. You cannot use a personal check. If you cannot afford the fee, ask the clerk for a fee waiver request.
If your landlord agrees to make the repairs: You will either sign a consent order or negotiate a stipulation. A consent order means that the landlord agrees to repair the violations that HPD found in the inspection. If the landlord will not sign a consent order, you may have to negotiate. If you come to an agreement, it will be written up in a stipulation. All of the things you agreed to should be written down.
If your landlord refuses to make the repairs or does not show up in court: The judge can still order those repairs be made, or services restored. This is called a Default Order.
Harassment Cases: There is a different type of HP action for harassment. HP actions for harassment only cover certain types of harassment. A HP action for harassment can also address repair issues.
What counts as harassment? An action by the landlord or someone working for the landlord that intends to make you leave the apartment. Cases can be filed for buildings with three or more families. It must include one of the following:
- threatening to use force or using force
- repeated interruption of services
- failure to correct housing code violations
- repeated, baseless court cases
- removing your possessions
- removing the door or damaging the lock
- repeated buyout offers after you have refused
When it comes to repairs and violations consult with a tenant defense attorney if you need help preparing your case before court or legal representation in court.
Call us now at (888) 458-5410 for a free phone consultation.