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RE: Deposit/Sketchy Landlord

Posted by Michelle on August 14, 2000 at 16:10:10:

I have been living in a 3 Bedroom railroad walk-up for the last 11 months, paying rent directly to my landlord. My apartment is rent stabilized under the current lease, and the building was built in 1920.

Last September, I moved into an apartment with 2 other people who were on the lease (I was taking the place of the 3rd non-leasee roommate). I signed an "Application for Lease Agreement", which was accepted by my landlord. After I moved in, I never received any legal documents with the terms and conditions of my tenancy (assignment?) and I signed nothing else.

So, since I moved in on Sept. 1, aren't I considered a month-to-month tenant whose rent is due on the 1st of every month? The catch is, my roommates' lease began on the 21st of the month, but they always paid on the 1st (per the landlord's permission) because it was easier for their pay-cycle (this was all unbeknownst to me until a few month's ago).

In June, my 2 roommates (on the lease) moved out, and per the LL's permission, my 2 friends moved in on the 1st of May and June, respectively. In July, we were told to move out because my landlord wanted to split our apartment. We scrambled to find an apartment, and moved out on Aug. 5th.

In doing all of this, our LL has been extremely uncooperative and bullish. She has left threatening messages at work saying that she was going to evict us the very next day, and would then take us to court and charge us all of her legal fees. I repeatedly asked her not to call me at work, but she continued against my wishes.

Also, throughout these 2 months, we have sent her numerous signed agreements extending our occupancy of the apartment. Although she agreed verbally to our written terms, we never received her signed copies (although they were repeatedly requested, both orally and written). I have documentation of her oral promises in the form of detailed telephone logs and documentation of my "good faith" requests.

Even though we moved out on Aug. 5th, she demanded that we PAY until the 13th, and took the 13 days rent out of our deposits. Also, she took out an extra $250 for "back-rent" since the original lease of the apartment began on the 21st of the month -- the one she said I did not have any rights from, but am subject to as far as rent is concerned. This sounds really twisted to me, but I don't want to go to small claims court unless I have confidence that I will win.

Please give me some guidance. Any court cases, references, advice, etc. would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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