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TenantNet Forum Archives 1996-2002
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Re: Landlord Misrepresentation? and realtor harrassment

Posted by TenantNet on August 30, 1996 at 19:40:37:

In Reply to: Landlord Misrepresentation? and realtor harrassment posted by Anonymous tenant on August 30, 1996 at 14:16:25:

: I recently signed a one year lease for a NYC apartment. I agreed to do
: all the painting and spent over 60 hours and a good amount of money
: working on it. Only afterwards did I discover that the brownstone was for
: sale. I learned this when a real estate agent (a different one than rented
: me the apartment) came to the door, demanding to show the apartment. When I
: asked her if our lease would be honored if the building was bought,
: she avoided my question. Since, she has begun to call freqently demanding
: to show the apartment and becoming ruder by the day. I feel that the landlord
: should have informed us that the building was for sale but do not know if
: he is required to do so. Now, I wonder if our lease will be honored by a
: new buyer and to what extent I must give this realty agent access to my
: apartment. Her calls every other day and frequent showing are rapidly
: becoming an infringment on my privacy. If anyone has delt with a
: similar situation or has comments, referrals, information or the like, I
: would really appreciate it.

You raise three issues:

1. You agreed to work and painting. I assume this was in exchange for a
lower rent for a defined period or some other consideration. If this is true,
then you have gotten your compensation.

2. Will your lease be honored? The nnew owner assumes the obligations of
the former owner including existing leases. It's a complicated subject and
there are some exceptions [i.e., if the nnew owner wants to live there],
even so they can not just throw you out; they would have to go to court
annd that might take some time -- possibly enough time until your existing
lease had expired. If your unit is rent stabilized [generally more than 6
units in a building built before 1974 and not a coop] then they must even
offer you a new lease [again, with a few exceptions]. You won't be on the
street soon.

3. Access. Generally owners do have the right of access -- with advance
notice and for specific legitimate reasons. [repairs, etc.] Only in an
emergency can they just barge in without advance notice or if you are not
there. Showing a building is a legitimate reason, but it must be with
advance notice [at least 24 hours and in some situations, longer],
during reasonable hours [business hours if you wannt to be sticky but that
might work against you if you work and would need to take time off from work,
and [this is important] they can not use it to harass you. You are not
expected to agree to show the unit every single day. The request for
access must also be in writing and must state the reason for the
requested access and the time. You should be reasonable but don't let
them walk all over you. If you feel they are abusing you, you can get
pretty sticky about things [Gee, did I get that letter requesting access?]
But be aware that you will have to let them in eventually -- just not every
five minutes on their terms.

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