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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 755
Stay of proceeding or action for rent upon failure to make repairs
Real Property Actions & Proceedings (RPA) CHAPTER 81, ARTICLE 7
§ 755. Stay of proceeding or action for rent upon failure to make
repairs. 1. (a) Upon proper proof that a notice or order to remove or
cease a nuisance or a violation or to make necessary and proper repairs
has been made by the municipal department charged with the enforcement
of the multiple dwelling law, the multiple residence law, or any other
applicable local housing code, or officer or officers thereof charged
with the supervision of such matters, if the condition against which
such notice or order is directed is, in the opinion of the court, such
as to constructively evict the tenant from a portion of the premises
occupied by him, or is, or is likely to become, dangerous to life,
health, or safety, the court before which the case is pending may stay
proceedings to dispossess the tenant for non-payment of rent or any
action for rent or rental value. In any such proceeding, on the question
of fact, as to the condition of the dwelling the landlord or petitioner
shall have the burden of disproving the condition of the dwelling as
such condition is described in the notice or order.

(b) Upon proper proof of the existence of a condition that is in the
opinion of the court, such as to constructively evict the tenant from a
portion of the premises occupied by him, or is or is, likely to become,
dangerous to life, health, or safety, the court before which the case is
pending may stay proceedings to dispossess the tenant for non-payment of
rent, or any action for rent or rental value.

(c) The court shall in no case grant a stay where it appears that the
condition against which the notice or order is directed has been created
by the wilful or negligent act of the tenant or his agent. Such stay
shall continue in force, until an order shall be made by the court
vacating it, but no order vacating such stay shall be made, except upon
three days' notice of hearing to the tenant, or respondent, or his
attorney, and proof that such notice or order has been complied with.

2. The tenant or respondent shall not be entitled to the stay unless
he shall deposit with the clerk of the court the rent then due, which
shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed the same as the
tenant was liable for during the preceding month or such as is reserved
as the monthly rent in the agreement under which he obtained possession
of the premises. The stay may be vacated upon three days' notice upon
failure to deposit with the clerk the rent within five days after it is
due, during the pendency of the proceeding or action.

3. During the continuance of the stay, the court may direct, in its
discretion, upon three days notice to all parties, the release to a
contractor or materialman of all or such part of the moneys on deposit
as shall be sufficient to pay bills properly presented by such
contractor or materialman for the maintenance of and necessary repairs
to the building (including but not limited to payments for fuel,
electricity, gas, janitorial services and repairs necessary to remove
violations), upon a showing by the tenant that the landlord is not
meeting his legal obligations therefor or direct such release to a
municipal department to pay bills and expenses for such maintenance and
repairs upon a showing that the landlord did not meet his legal
obligation to provide such maintenance or perform repairs and that the
department incurred expenses therefor. Upon the entry of an order
vacating the stay the remaining money deposited shall be paid to the
plaintiff or landlord or his duly authorized agent.

4. Neither party shall be entitled to any costs in any proceeding or
action wherein the stay shall be granted except that costs may be
awarded against the tenant or defendant in the discretion of the court
in the event the condition complained of shall be found to be due to the
wilful act of the tenant or defendant, such costs, however, not to
exceed the sum of twenty-five dollars.