Posted by Blue Zephyr on January 09, 2002 at 00:27:06:
In Reply to: Multi-faceted problem with landlord posted by Eric on January 08, 2002 at 23:18:54:
Focus on the important things here. You have the absolute right to access an apartment that you rent. You certainly have a right to remove your belongings. Given that your ex has effectively stolen your apartment out from under you with the complacency of the landlord, you are going to have to get prepared and take it back.
When you say your "name is on the lease" I assume you mean that you are the sole leaseholder. If your ex is also on the lease (or, to a lesser degree, if the ex has utility bills in her name on the unit) then the ex would have a legal basis to remain in the unit - but not to deny you access.
If all you want to do is get your stuff out, I would talk to the community affairs officer at your local police precint. Explain the situation briefly, and bring any documents (lease, utility bills, etc) that prove the unit is yours. Have copies of these docuements. Ask for his advice on getting back into the unit. You could simply hire a locksmith to pop the lock -- but going to the police first prevents an accusation of breaking into your own apartment.
If you wanted to remain in your apartment, you would have to pay rent. You would probably need to hire a lawyer to evict your ex and force the landlord to allow you access.
: I lived in a one bedroom basement apartment in Queens until mid November with my ex. My move was supposed to be temporary, but turned permanent.
: I paid the full rent for november, and half the rent for December (my ex paid the other half.) Since I left, she has refused to permit me entry into the apartment to gather my belongings. I asked the landlord for assistance, since my name is on the lease and I had paid the rent. He refused to allow me entry. Now, he is asking me to pay one-half of January's rent (despite the fact I vacated the premises over 2 months ago) all the while denying me entry. Is that not illegal? I mean, if I was a paid tenant, would that situation not be like a tenant who locked themselves out? Can I legally get a locksmith to open the door for me if the landlord refuses to do so?
: On two other notes pertaining to this apartment:
: 1) Would it be illegal if this basement apartment only had one exit (the front door) and all of the windows were barred and did not have any means of being opened?
: 2) The info on what makes an illegal conversion are a little confusing. Everyone that has ever been to my place has said it looks illegal, what with the 7 foot ceilings with steam pipes running right through them...but is there any way to tell if an apartment is illegal besides calling the Dept. of Buildings???
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