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countersuit for harassment?

Posted by rfh on September 03, 2001 at 18:55:39:

Back in 1999 as a result of me calling Central complaint for constant lack of heat and the building owner's failure to respond to many calls about massive roof leaks ( fifth floor walk-up ), the owner retaliated by calling the Department of Buildings and reporting a green house on the roof ( not true ), but that started the ball rolling with his collusion with a DOB inspector to write two violations against me, forcing me to hire a lawyer @$750 to go down to the Environmental Conservation Board for several hearings and to be fined of $400.The truth was that there was a lovingly kept roof garden the presence of which had been ordered to be available for tenants back in 1981 by the Conciliation and Appeals Board and with which order this same building owner had agreed to comply.... On top of that I was told by this same landlord that my library of books and records was a danger to the structure of the
building ( there are so many structural changes in the building done without permits!! ), that I was not to use my ceiling fan or air conditioner ( the apartment is directly under the roof )as
the wiring system couldn't support the power addition, he dropped a sewer vent pipe down thru the air shaft blocking a window and finally sealed off the air shaft with plexiglass completely blocking off any possible fresh air....

The whole mess is really involved: the B.O. even bad mouthed me to new tenants as they signed leases with an addenda stating " access to the roof strictly forbidden ", completely contrary to his agreement with the city. Eventually I was the only "old guard" who maintained the garden. I was the weirdo.No one knew they had a right to the garden. They were told there was only one guy on the fifth ( me ) who didn't abide by the no roof ruling and that this old guy charged people to go up on the roof!!!

After many years as a tenant advocate, marcher, busing up to Albany with placards, this 68 year old had had it. I bought a place to retreat to and left the apartment completely furnished.. I couldn't take it. The final blow was when the B.O. aluminized the roof. That ended the garden for good!!Planters dehydrated, herbs and flowers died, the roof became a wall to wall pulsating reflector.Life had become hellish.

The present situation and a question: Having been harassed and feeling forced to move, I have now been served with a notice to vacate and am offerred $9,500 to do so. I have a strong feeling the B.O. lawyers have no clue about the history of harassment.

The question: Should I put my tail between my legs,take the dough and walk away?
Or should I counter-sue with this history of harassment that forced me to vacate?I am so damned mad to have been uprooted from a home I had enjoyed for thirty years!!! ( And to think the guy used to thank me for repairing the roof!! )

Thanks for any ideas.
The life I had there has been destroyed.

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