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Illegal Entry into Apartment?

Posted by Emily on August 20, 2000 at 01:46:55:

My family currently resides in a rent-stabilized Manhattan apartment in a co-op building. Over the years, the co-op (and landlord) have been decreasing services to all rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants in the building. When I complained to the co-op, repairs & renovations in neighboring co-op apartments resulted in damage to our apartment (water stains on walls, flooding, no kitchen water, broken intercom, holes in kitchen wall and bathroom floor). This occurred over a 6-month period with complaints made to the Dept. of Housing. Then a recent dispute with the super resulted in an "emergency" repair (he claimed there was a leak) while we were out in the afternoon in which the apartment was broken into and more damage was done to the apartment which has not been repaired: hole in kitchen wall exposing pipes, no kitchen water, broken locks on door, damage to sink). The super claimed he did not have a copy of our keys to enter the apartment yet all tenants were ordered in a memo to give a copy of their keys to the super which we did do. Also, I was told by the managing agent that he and the landlord authorized the super and the locksmith to break into our apartment to fix the "leak". No police officer or fireman was present.

We had a licensed plumber take a look at the pipes and he revealed that the repair was not an emergency and there was no need to repair the pipe from our apartment. In other words, the repair could have easily been made from the apartment next to ours which is occupied by the super!

What is the best course of action in establishing harassment here? Can I press criminal charges for trespassing since there was no emergency as claimed by the super? The police refuse to listen to my complaint stating that this is a tenant-landlord dispute. How can I argue and prove that the super and management were not acting in good faith?


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