Posted by Peter on April 12, 2000 at 12:10:43:
In Reply to: Landlord poor repairs posted by Jennifer on April 10, 2000 at 19:32:00:
Well, withholding rent is a good start. In addition you should send a certified letter to your landlord and/or managing agent about the problems you facing in your home (apartment). With a dated receipt from the Post Office, you can claim in Housing Court that you had in fact verbally and written to your landlord about said problems and that they were not corrected by a qualified person, request an inspector to view the damage and request that the court withhold the rent until the damages are corrected.
Hopefully this should fix the problem, because most lanlords will make repairs based on the fear that a Housing Court Judge will impose fines and penalties to their property bringing their overall bills higher.
Withholding rent will bring verbal (and maybe physical) abuse from your landlord. Please document everything your landlord does and keep a receipt of everything they give you, it will help you in your case.
Note: Understand that a non-payment proceeding is an action the landlord takes against you for not paying your rent, and that a HP Action (for repairs to your home) is an action you start against your landlord for not making repairs to your home to including common areas in the building. Any Judge can order repairs, but there is less sympathy to tenants in a non-payment case simply because the landlord's argument will be that "you owe money" which is why you are in Court. If you are not sure what to do, please consult an attorney and do not sign any agreements with your landlord or HIS attorney until you see a Housing Court Judge, a Housing Court Judge can enforce repairs once they are ordered by the Court and will benifit you if your landlord promises you anything in return.
Remember: Every promise will be used to get you to sign a stipulation agreeing to move out of the apartment or for additional time to avoid making the repairs.
As an example: I signed a stipulation agreeing to move out of my apartment for $3000 cash. I later discovered the writing on the stipulation was not was what originally told to me by the landlords attorney. I was told I would receive $3000 for moving out in 2 weeks. What was written was that once moved out of the apartment and delivered the key(s) I would receive $3000 including the back rent and the lease would be void. As a bonus, the attorney and the landlord didn't sign the agreement. I got hooked to the benefit of the landlord. because I didn't have the money to move and if I did move out who would pay me??? With the lease now void I was given a 30 day notice to move out of the apartment instead of waiting for my lease to run out. Be careful for these kinds of tricks.
: Hi All. This is the first time I've seen a site like this, have question about whether or not I can withhold rent and more importantly, am I being petty about the lack of response and quality of repairs being done by my landlord? I've had ant problems, leaking ceilings, mildewed (after being repainted three times) bathroom ceiling, rotted drywall and smelly standing water in the kitchen for the past three months. It was reported to the landlord and the work was either done poorly the first time, or has not been completely successfulyl. I have a four year old and a newborn in the house and in order to solve the ant problem, landlord wants to fumigate. This involved moving virtually everything out of the kids bedrooms, the kitchen, and closets out of the apartment. I'm practically having to move into my car for them to do this! In addition, the original work that was done (relaying kitchen linoleum) was done by two men who left behind beer cans and exposed razorblades in the apartment. Anyways, I'm asking these questions in the forum because everything on the homepage seems only to relate to NYC. I live in upstate Western NY (Rochester) and am not sure if the same laws/rules/practices apply. I have withheld April's rent and refuse to have the apt fumigated due to the presence of both young children. Do I have the right to file complaints about these matters if I've refused to have the place fumigated and they keep having to come back three and four times to redo their own poor work? They're not ignoring the problems, but they're not fixing them effectively either! HELP>>>
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