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  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    My question involves an eviction in the state of: PA

    I am a business owner and two year residential tenant in a duplex. Today is January 16th of 2010. In November and December of 2009 I was 14 days late on my rent. I have not been late prior to that. The current landlord is a new owner that took over the property in June of 2009.

    The reason for my lateness is not relevant here but I did make my landlord aware of an incident that has had a dramatic impact on my financial situation. This was done in both writing and face-to face. I am basically caught in a limbo of looking for a job in a tough economy. Its going slow. For both Nov and December I made my payments with the requisite late fee. I have had some issues with child support and have been playing a juggling act. Hard times are not unheard of an I am not complaining. Its just taking some time to sort out. I have a good credit history and I am responsible.

    Today I received an eviction notice for "habitual lateness". I'm embarassed, mortified and of course worried.

    • What is habitual lateness?
    • Can I fight this eviction?
    • Will filing bankruptcy stop the proceedings?
    • My lease has a clause of 45 days notice to eviction. Can this be accelerated by the landlord if I do not make any more payments?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    Bankruptcy will only stop an eviction until the landlord petitions to have the automatic stay lifted (which he probably will, and it will generally be granted).

    It's not unreasonable to call lateness in two out of the past four months "habitual".

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    As per my last question.. can a vacate order be accelerated by the landlord? (ie can she throw me out or have a hearing prior to the eviction letter stating an eviction date of march 2nd?)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    Quote Quoting NotTooHappy
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    As per my last question.. can a vacate order be accelerated by the landlord? (ie can she throw me out or have a hearing prior to the eviction letter stating an eviction date of march 2nd?)
    The landlord must abide by State law regarding eviction - not your lease

  5. #5
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    Cinnaminson, New Jersey, United States
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    You are only evicted when the judge has granted the owner Writ or Possession. Then you are given a certain number of days to vacate the premises. There is nothing the landlord can do to speed up the process. In addition, he cannot evict you for "habitual lateness". You can only be evicted if the payments (including late fees) are not paid in full.

    You can look up your right in full in the HUD website.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    It's not unreasonable to call lateness in two out of the past four months "habitual".

    Huh? Not real strong in sampling or did you just intentionally gloss over so quickly you missed what I said? Where are you getting 2 out of four months? 2 out of 24 months or 2 out of seven months. Where did you come up with your 2 out of 4?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    Quote Quoting NotTooHappy
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    Huh? Not real strong in sampling or did you just intentionally gloss over so quickly you missed what I said? Where are you getting 2 out of four months? 2 out of 24 months or 2 out of seven months. Where did you come up with your 2 out of 4?

    Please leave your attitude outside of the door when you leave, okay?

    YOU said:

    You were late November and December. It is now January.

    You have been late in 2 of the past 3 months - I offered "2 out of 4", because for some apparently misguided reason, I was being generous.

    (Saying that you've been late 50% of the time during the past the past four months was a little kinder than saying you were late 66% of the time during the past three months.)

    The fact that YOU think the landlord should take into account either 7 months or 24 months isn't the point. Your landlord is absolutely entitled to consider two consecutive months as "habitual".

    See where I'm going now?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    Yes I do see as per your explanation that you do not understand sampling and/or trends. I see your point though. Thank you for clarifying.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Legal Definition of Habitual Lateness

    Quote Quoting NotTooHappy
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    Yes I do see as per your explanation that you do not understand sampling and/or trends. I see your point though. Thank you for clarifying.

    Glad to help


    Please, do keep asking questions if you need to!

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