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No lease after 4-1/2 years?

Posted by Richard on November 22, 2001 at 10:50:30:

I live in Brooklyn, in a small 'brownstone' type building. Four units. I have been hear for four years. I signed a lease and gave a deposit at the beginning...however the landlord never gave me another lease.
Is the lease extended automatically? I have paid rent EVERY month, and have never had any problems with the LL.
Now there is no heat and i am thinking of withholding rent until there is heat. I am afraid that w/o a lease i may not have much leverage.
Two questions: one about the lack of lease and what my rights are, and two, can i pay rent to an escrow account or somehting so i don't hurt my credit rating for not paying rent.
Thank you in advance for any help.

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