Posted by TenantNet on October 22, 1997 at 01:10:51:
In Reply to: apt. destroyed by fire..my rights? posted by steve meyer on October 21, 1997 at 17:20:40:
: My apt. was destroyed by fire, the cause as yet unknown. The rental company provided me with a new apt. in the complex 6 days later. I have moved in, but signed the lease yet.
: I assume I am not responsible for paying the portion of rent for the time I did not live there, but what if I want out of the lease now? Is the company responsible for any of my moving expenses?
: I have not been able to get my mail, since my landlord has not provided me with a key, despite numerous requests?
: Any advice e-mailed would be appreciated, Steve
This is a difficult situation. You need to decide (if you're in NYC and RS)
if you eventually want the new unit or if you want to move back into the
old unit. If you want the new unit, then you would be subject to a new
lease and the rent that goes with that unit. If you want to move back
after repairs, you need to file a "reduction in services" with DHCR,
explain what happened and ask them to reduce the rent on the old unit
to $1.00 per month (to maintain the landlord-tenant relationship) and also
provide an order for relocation (even though that appears to be handled).
When repairs happen, you could then move back at that unit's rent. Often
this could be arrived at by stipulation, but get some good legal advice.
As for the mailbox, you could also file for a rent reduction for reduced services,
but try to get the local Post Office to open the box so you can retrieve your mail.
Landlords are required (see the Housing Maintenance Code) to provide a
mail box or collect and distribute the mail to you. You might wish to
explain to the owner that his refusal to let you get at your mail
leaves him open to a damage suit.
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