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Re: Landlord Harrassment?!

Posted by Elisabeth Dugan on November 19, 1996 at 12:32:56:

In Reply to: Re: Landlord Harrassment?! posted by TenantNet on November 19, 1996 at 02:19:10:

Thanks for your response. I'm feeling intimidated and harrassed, and nervous
about being home alone. After I posted my query, a friend turned me on to DHCR, which I
called. The guy was helpful; I told him my story and he said it was definitely
within the bounds of harrassment and sent me some forms to file a complaint.
I also spoke with Eviction Intervention Services, and I have an appointment with
a lawyer in their legal clinic.

I'm fortunate, I think, in that I don't really need relief or intervention,
as much as I need to know whether I need to defend myself and that I have
room to do so if necessary.
I think that this guy is a typical Napolean-complex bully and if I bite
back he'll go away.

: In my book parts of your story border on it, but you won't get relief
: anywhere. On the harassment issue, although the Rent Stab Code defines
: what harassment is, the DHCR will not enforce it as the agency is
: controlled by landlord interests (it always has been, now they don't
: even pretend). Also the courts are useless when it comes to harassment
: of tenants.

: Apparently you've become the legal tenant. A landlord has the right to seek
: rent and it appears he's jumping the gun a bit here; even so he has the right
: to make inquiries. However the **manner** he is doing this is improper.
: Write him a certified letter and tell him (not only that you are generally on time)
: but that he is not to call you at work and if at home at only specified hours or days
: (or not at all at home if you prefer). Tell him if he has concerns about the
: timeliness of the rent, he is to send you a letter expressing those concerns.
: This actually protects him as it shows he's demanded the rent and it might
: be construed as a "three-day notice" if he ever takes you to court.

: As for the leak, in the same letter, tell him about it, that you've complained
: and that he's apparently taken no action to make repairs. If he does take you
: to court, make sure he knows that his lack of repairs will be a defense and
: cause for you to seek an appropriate abatement.

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