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security deposit

Posted by Margaret Langston on December 31, 2001 at 14:58:14:

I am wondering if I will be able to get back a security deposit. I was renting, under a rent stabilized lease, for 7 years in 201 West 94th Street. I moved out at the end of September 2001, after giving my landlord, JNPJ Realty, one month's notice by certified/ return receipt (also faxed).

This landowner, who bought our building 4 years ago, has systematically harassed tenants out of their apartments and has almost emptied our building of the original tenants. Each time an apartment is vacated JNPJ realty sends in workers to demolish the entire apartment and rebuild it. Having spent the required amount of money renovating, the landowner brings the apartment up to market value, thereby voiding that particular apartment's rent stabilized status.

This process can take from 3-6 months to complete. Tenants' rights were not observed during this ongoing construction (since JNPJ Realty took over the building) and we and other tenants were in DHCR mediation and Housing Court proceedings with this landowner.

I have been waiting for my security deposit for 3 months. I was given every indication that I would receive it. I never was given an indication that I would not receive it. This landowner went into the apartment 3 days after we vacated the apartment at the end of September and demolished it. He was renovating for two months and rented the apartment in November 2001. We left the apartment in good condition. Now, on 12/31/01, I am told by a secretary that we will not receive our deposit and, in fact owe JNPJ Realty money for rent.

We now own an apartment in Inwood. Do we have any rights in the above matter? Thanks for your help and advice, Tenantnet!

Margaret Langston
Mark Gibel

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