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Besides that I am a fool what are my rights?

Posted by Marisa Mettner on May 22, 2000 at 16:00:34:

I rent 2 floors of a brownstone building in Brooklyn in Kings County/ one block from Flatbush. I moved there March 97 and the 1 year lease amounted to 1,650, not including heat! The house was in a bad condition and I invested a lot of time and money to meet Martha Stewarts standards. I also landscaped the whole backyard.

When I rented the apartment, the downstairs was no living space, only zoned for business (e.g. medical office). Soon after I had moved in, the landlord decided to move downstairs into the space that was for commercial use only. I was asked to move the herbal garden so the landlord's kid could play there, my washing machine hook up, though promised, was never installed and some repairs were never done. Most of the repairs I did on my own to avoid disturbing the peace. The heating bill was presented to me last month for 2 years in arrears in a lump sum (which I paid of course as timely as my monthly rent payments!). Occasional heating problems were not always followed up timely (in January when the landlord was on vacation I was for 1 week without heat!- nevertheless I am supposed to cover 400 USD in oil cost for January).

The second lease, was presented 16 months later (6 months after I had moved in)it but was never signed by all parties. I started paying last year 1,721 USD (71 USD increase) as verbally agreed on.

My landlord indicated last weekend that he might want to move upstairs or as an alternative he could possibly ask for 2200 - 2400 monthly for my apartment. I do not have time to move out right now (and I really love the house) but I certainly cannot afford paying this exorbitant amount of rent increase plus the expensive heating bill.

Do I have any rights, since the lease was not renewed?
When do I have to leave the apartment if the landlord wants me out?
How can I buy some time or negotiate?

Thanks for your advice! Marisa

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