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Landlady on a rampage hiding behind "private dwelling" statement

Posted by kevin on December 09, 2001 at 21:02:01:

I live in Brooklyn, New York. My landlady has been entering the apartment with increasing frequency. She lives in the sub level of this brownstone. She rents the 2nd and 3rd floors to myself and two other tenants. The tenants and she have separate entrances. There is a stipulation in the lease for her to have permission to enter to make repairs, and/or use the laundry facilities. She let herself into the dwelling at 2:30 am on a Saturday night to scold me about watching a video at low volume. This lead to a scene in which she became somewhat bizarre and dramatic.

The following day, I recounted the scene to my housemate. As I was doing so, the landlady let herself into the dwelling and came up two flights because she "couldn't let herself be misrepresented" [by me] to the other housemate. At this point, I realized that she was eavesdropping and could do so at any time.

She claims that because the brownstone is a "private dwelling," she can access it at any time for any reason with no notice.

On the grounds that she feels I'm "menacing" and "slanderous" she wants to terminate my lease before it's up. Frankly, her strange and invasive behavior is a little scary to me, and I'd like to be out ASAP, but not before I find a place.

Can anyone comment on the legality of this "private dwelling" claim? I'd like to find out what my rights are in this situation. Any help would be appreciated!

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