Posted by Dawn on November 20, 2000 at 12:51:32:
In Reply to: Mugged in my building with faulty front door... posted by Lila on November 18, 2000 at 09:06:00:
First and foremost, I am SO sorry that the mugging happened to you. I can't imagine how horrified and scared and angry you must feel. No longer feeling comfortable in what is supposed to be your home, the landlord is in blatant violation of not securing the building as soon as he got word and proof from you that the building is not secure and the reason why. You may need to write him again (forget phone calls, because it'll just break down to a he said she said if you ever have to go to court over this) and in a short, polite letter, state your concern about living in a safe, clean building. I would also enclose a copy of the police report again and that the door must be replaced completely. A videotape clearly showing the door problem would also help (make sure it's time and date stamped, for proof to prove your point). Explain in your letter that you would agree to a slight increase in the rent in order to cover the security camera issue as well. Explain that you would hate for anyone to go through what you went through or worse, and, as the landlord, the LL would agree that tenant safety is important. End the note with that you would like to hear from the landlord and have the door and lock replaced within 10 days of receipt of the letter. That should shake the landlord into action. Keep all originals, tape and police report and all correspondence kept in a bank safety deposit box. I don't know if the replacing of the door or the security camera would fall under the jurisdiction of capital improvements, but the landlord may tell you he/she would have to give a rent increase, to scare you off. Make sure you find out what this rent increase is -- the landlord, if shady, will not give you a direct percentage of what it is, or just hem and haw -- and you can check here at tenant.net or www.nolo.com for that info as to what the proper percentage is, and make sure it is given to everyone in the building and not just you because everyone will benefit from it, not just you. If you're singled out for the increase alone, and you find evidence to support this, you can take the evidence and the rest of what's in your safety deposit box and take the LL to court.
As a tenant, you have a right to a safe, clean building when you pay rent and the landlord is responsible to provide you this in return for your rent.
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