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Re: HELP! Where do we go from here?? UPDATE

Posted by Dayann on July 14, 2001 at 17:21:25:

In Reply to: HELP! Where do we go from here??.... posted by Dayann on July 09, 2001 at 20:56:22:

Hi, all. Just wanted to share some of the good news. HPD actually did its job. Window guards (or rather the absence of window guards) are considered a health emergency in NYC, and get the same quick response as say a gas leak.

The inspector came while no one was around, but because you can tell from outside the building whether or not there are window guards, he was still able to assess the complaint and he hit my LL with a whopping big violation. Apparently, HPD considers the property I live on a multiple dwelling. LL was advised that he was in violation and was told he had 10 days to cure or be penalized.

HPD told him I don't have to pay more than $10 per window guard, and that I don't have to give him any payment until 30 days after the guards are installed. Apparently by law, he can't even ASK for the pass-along fee until the guards have been up for a month. The tenant has the option to pay all at once or pay by monthly installments over a 1, 2, or 3 year period. LL has to install guards both in my apartment and in the common areas.

My LL kept arguing with the inspector, trying to make up excuses why guards were optional or why I wasn't entitled to them, and the inspector got pissed off and told the LL that if he wasn't going to comply, then the City was going to assign one of its own contractors to come to the house and install the guards. LL would then be billed by the City, in addition to receiving a fine or summons for non-compliance.

Now I get window guards for my daughter's safety, the LL has learned (we hope) that he can't just do whatever he feels like because its "his house" if he is collecting rent from tenants, and I get to hold my rent because LL is still not making repairs as required by him under the Warranty of Habitability.

We still have to pay $120 for the guards, but who cares? We don't.
Our kid is safe and we have inspectors reports to vouch for our claim that the LL refuses to make repairs and the eviction is retaliatory, and that non-payment of rent is solely due to LL's failure to comply with housing codes.

A friend of mine said that the LL can be smacked with an injunction for issuing me a 30 day notice immediately after I made complaint to the City. JJ, is this what you meant by $$$ damages? What exactly is an "injunction" and what is "rent gouging"? Does anyone out there know?

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