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Landlord told me not to move in till August, but wants me to pay July rent...

Posted by Red on August 29, 2000 at 15:45:27:

I recently moved into an apartment complex in Buffalo, New York. A rental company had recently purchased the building, so the previous tenant of my apartment moved out under a different lease and was not obligated to clean the apartment (he had lived there for three years).

When I signed the lease, I was told that I could move in immediately. I requested that the apartment be cleaned and painted, which the landlord agreed to. For the next two weeks, the landlord and his maintenance man did nothing, first saying that I hadn't made the request through the proper channels (even though the landlord said to contact him and that he would take care of it); then claiming that they didn't have a copy of the key to my apartment and couldn't get in to do the work. Finally, the maintenance man called me and told me not to move in until after August 1st, because, among other things, he was having the floors cleaned and the apartment needed to be empty. And to top it off, he ripped off my wallboard and molding and cut a three-foot "plumbing access door" in my living room which is still unfinished, since he refuses to commit to a time to fix it. Now they're claiming that I caused the delays, and that I should have moved in while they were painting and doing the repairs. They still think I should pay July rent; I told them absolutely not, because there was obviously miscommunication between the two owners as to when the apartment was actually ready to live in. I've kept a detailed log of everything they've done so far, and copies of all of my letters to them. When I mentioned that I had spoken with an attorney about this, they seemed to back down (I think they've had a lot of legal issues), but I'm wondering if they'll let this go so easily. Any advice?

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