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terrible landlord threatens to evict me

Posted by J. on March 27, 2000 at 00:11:55:

I have been living in Manhattan in a rent stablized building for approximately the past four years. I am on a one year lease. It is a very old building and the landlord does not take care of it. It is a 9 unit building, which is serviced by a part time super (who lives and works in another building). For the past 2 years I have been having problems with my downstairs neighbors who occupy the first floor and also the basement. They have been using the basement to run their business which involves building metal furniture. For a long time I had to deal with a tremendous amount of noise and also fumes (possibly toxic) coming into my apartment. After complaining to the landlord, and him not returning my phone calls, I then called every department in NY that I could, including: the fire dept., HPD, ECB, and the buildings Dept. I then began to withhold rent becuase my landlord was not providing me a suitable living space. The landlord never said anything about the withheld rent. Well, the problems stopped for a while, but they have started again. The two months before this I withheld partial rent, but this month I withheld the full amount. He called me and threatened to start eviction proceedings. What are my options? Besides the problems with my neighbors (and there are documented violations), the halls are dirty, the intercom doesn't really work, and I know other tenants have complaints. I have also kept records of complaints to the various depts. and a log of all my complaints to the landlord...Unfortunately, only one was in writing and this was 2 years ago. Would I win this case in court?

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