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Re: locks, access and sublets

Posted by Anna on May 18, 2000 at 12:51:03:

In Reply to: lots of problems posted by nk on May 18, 2000 at 11:23:35:

: Actually, I have had "bigger problems" such as no heat throughout the winter, a rat infestation, etc.. I don't consider my personal safety a minor problem, either. I would appreciate advice instead of unhelpful and critical commentary.

: : : For those of you who plan to reply to my email, please please read it in its entirety before you reply:

: : : I have a number of problems right now with my landlady- many of which have derived from forcing her to offer me a two year lease. My apartmetn is rent stabilized.

: : : 1)My landlady is taking me to small claims court for the installation of a deadbolt lock which I subsequently deducted from the rent ( I did this in July, 1999). However, both the return request receipt notice and the regular mail notice were left in my mailbox. Since I did not sign the return request receipt, can I state that I was not served and as a result, I can not be taken to court unless she takes further actions. My landlady is extremely lazy and I hope that by stalling and dragging out this process, I'll tire her out and she won't pursue the matter in court.

Don't play games in court. And don't lie. If whatever you received was not served properly (read the Small Claims booklet (free from them), tell the judge.

The law requires two locks in NYC. If you only had one or had two but one was broken, the landlady was required to fix it or add it.

: : : 2) Yesterday, my landlady was screaming that she did not want my bike hanging upside from the ceiling inside my apartment. She stated that she had entered the apartment with the exterminator and saw the bike. I told her that she is not allowed to enter my apartment without my permission and that I could report her. She subsequently scoffed at that. I called DHCR and they advised me to either change the lock or take her to housing court. Changing the lock may be expensive and difficult considering the situation that I referred to in (1). Also, I want the exterminator to continue to come and exterminate. While taking her to court is an option, I am leaving the country beginning in September for a year and I need to process the sublet through her as well. Any advice?

Take her to Housing Court? Why? To get an injuction to order her not to go into your apartment except as permitted by law? No judge would agree to that for one incident! You'll only make things worse, you'll lose and be responsible for her attorneys' fees.

Change your lock, don't give her one until she asks (then the law requires you to), be home for the exterminator.

: : : 3) I have to sublet my apartment though her. Considering the above situations, what can I do if she rejects my sublease?

Learn about your sublet rights now. Start the procedure early: monthSSS in advance. When she rejects you, you'll have to take her to court.

: : : Thanks.

: : Sounds like you have minor complaints. Is your landlady even obligated to pay for a new deadbolt lock? What was the condition of the old one? It can't have cost you much money. You could have bigger problems like no heat, etc. If you bug your landlady with minor things then you can't excpect to have an ewasy time subletting.

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