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TenantNet Forum Archives 1996-2002
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Please help with crazy landlord

Posted by Angry in Queens on August 10, 1997 at 22:48:42:

I live in a private house in which the landlord, in an effort to increase
their income, simply threw up a wall between the front and back of the house
and rents both apartments. There is one radiator for the entire apartment
and it's located directly in front of the only three windows in the apartment
which are shaking, rotting and cracked. This is a crude drawing. W=window

r | |
W a | |
d | |
W i | |
a | bedroom | bathroom
W t | |
r | |

We have no lease. In addition to being a fire trap (there's only that one door), it's on
the second floor. Heat is not provided after 10 pm no matter what the
weather and even the heat that's provided is inadequate. It's an awful
situation. Gas and Electric are included in our rent but in the Summer
months we're "told" how much extra we used for our A/C which blows a fuse
quite often, depending on its mood. When we asked what outlets were
connected to what fuse so we could make sure the AC was plugged in and the
only thing on the line, we were told that they dont know because the wiring
is all screwed up.

In any case, we're going to be moving soon and will give the required 30 days
notice. I think they will be very angry since we're good tenants and it's
my feeling that they will not return our security deposit. Forget small claims
court. I know a lot of people who've gone that route and winning isn't the
hard part, it's collecting that's nearly impossible. In this case, it's
inevitable that we'll lose out on a month's security.

With that as a given, we're tempted to go another route, such as notifying
IRS that the dual income from these apartments exists and perhaps it's not
being claimed as income, OR, calling some agency (Fire Marshall?) to inform
them that this place is a death trap.

I'm wondering if there are laws as to how many doors an apartment must have,
fire escapes or some means of escape, or a law saying this is not a legitimate
apartment. Do such laws exist? Where could I find information such as this.

Thanks very much.

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