Tenant Can't Vacate Settlement Agreement

LVT Number: #24472

Landlord brought both a holdover for refusal to give access for repairs and a nonpayment proceeding against elderly rent-controlled tenant in housing court. After a joint trial of the two cases began, landlord and tenant signed a settlement agreement in court in May 2011. Tenant was assisted in court by a court-appointed guardian ad litem (GAL), who also signed the settlement agreement. Tenant agreed to move out in four months, in exchange for a complete waiver of back rent totalling $24,000 owed since October 2010. Tenant later asked the court to discharge the GAL and vacate the settlement agreement. The GAL in turn asked the court to extend tenant's time to move out of the apartment. The court ruled against tenant. The GAL had met with tenant extensively and agreed to the settlement based on a number of factors, including tenant's wish to move to senior housing. There was no valid basis for removal of the GAL, and it wouldn't promote tenant's interests. Tenant also had no valid defense, since she admitted the rent arrears were owed and that she had refused access. The GAL's request to extend tenant's time to relocate was extended through Dec. 31, 2012.