Posted by WH on September 29, 2001 at 03:14:45:
I'm in Manhattan, in a rent-stabilized unit; there are 18 in all.
I've had a problem with squirrels in the ceiling and walls for nearly a year. I wrote the landlord in February and demanded the problem be resolved, because they were really dithering and making excuses. Additionally, there were 7 days of no hot water in a sixty-day period, and some other small but nagging and easily remedied problems. I filed with the DHCR for rent reduction; we have been going back and forth for months. I filed an HP action, but didn't even get to speak on may day in court because the Inspector refused to write up a violation with regard to the rodents. Instead, i was given a stip; the landlord would have to fix the boiler, make some repairs in the lobby, and paint my apartment (which I didn't even want).
In the meantime, as I became more and more frustrated, I found out that late fees on rent can only be valid if provision is included in every renewal lease. I gained my lease by succession, and do not have a copy of the original lease (they refuse to give me one); but have the last 2 renewals and there is no such provision. When i put this in writing and deducted $125 in late fees from the previous summer, my rent was returned to me. I then informed the landlord that rent would not be paid until the rodent problem was resolved; to which I received a reply that they would take legal action against me.
This is where I am now:
1) I canceled the painting, due this Monday. I injured my knee last Monday, and knew I wouldn't be physically capable of moving all the furniture, and then back again. The painting was in the stip, so how badly have I screwed up? The apartment has not been painted since 1996, and I'd never even asked before.
2) I received under my door today a Non-Payment Petition.
******* It's dated AUGUST 29! ***************
Further, the "3 Day Notice" was NEVER SERVED, neither by mail, nor on or under my door.
What the hell?????? What might happen??????????????? I can't respond to the petition if I get it a MONTH late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could I come home from work on Monday to find my stuff out on the street???? They are totally dealing in bad faith, have been for a while, but this is serious! How can they get away with lying about serving papers??? I HAVE BEEN WAITING for my day in court, sweating day after day, wondering when they would take action, and now they're making it appear I'm unresponsive by delivering late papers, and lying about the 3 day notice altogether?? BTW.....I have Jul-Aug-Sep rent (less the late fees) in money orders, and Oct will be ready this Friday.
I had a feeling they would serve papers on a Friday, so I could sweat the weekend....and after all this time of withholding rent, I figured they were just testing me out...but this is ridiculous! How can they demonstrate that these papers were served when they were SUPPOSED TO when they WEREN'T????
There was no way a judge would not order them to solve a rodent problem, make sure the boiler is working, and support my contention about the late fees (it's on DHCRs website)..is this the only thing they can do to diminish the credibility of my claims?
This is the longest post I've ever seen, and I didn't even mention the dead squirrell in my wall that made me sewriously ill for a week last New Year's.
Anyone? Anything? Obviously, I can't get to Met Council over the weekend, and i don't have a lawyer. Any way to set my mind at ease til Monday would be greatly appreciated.
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