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TenantNet Forum Archives 1996-2002
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Withholding Security Deposit

Posted by Mark Hermansen on September 16, 1996 at 22:16:17:

The gas pipe outside my former building broke around May 15, 1996. ConEd
repaired it within a day and a half. My landlord did not have gas to the
building hooked up and turned back on for 29 days. Accordingly, I couldn't
cook and heat/hot water was, at best, sporadic. I withheld rent under the
Warranty of Habitability Law for 1/2 of May and 1/2 of June, and advised my
landlord of this with letters which I sent with my rent checks. These checks
were cashed, and I did not receive and communication, written or verbal,
from the landlord.

Today, in trying to get by security deposit back (it's been 2 mos. since
the end of my lease), he said he was applying it against the offsets above.

My questions are:
1) Can he (legally) do this, and
2) What's my best recourse, if any? (e.g., small claims, DHCR, etc.)




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