Posted by Anneliese on August 03, 1999 at 23:36:50:
In Reply to: Re: billed for damages I didn't cause posted by Mark Smith on August 03, 1999 at 03:39:58:
: I think that you should write to management, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and state that you didn't damage the doors. You might also ask why they are blaming you.
: However, leaving the apartment six months before the lease ends, based on a claim of constructive eviction, may present a much greater problem. Your landlord will surely sue you for the six months' rent and damage to the doors. Even if the landlord re-rents the apartment, you might be liable for several months' rent, plus the landlord's attorneys' fees, even taking any security deposit into account.
: Have you complained to the landlord or managing agent, in writing, about problems in your apartment and/or the public areas of the building? Have you filed a complaint with D.H.C.R., brought an H.P. proceeding in Housing Court, or withheld your rent? Do you have H.P.D. violations on record for your apartment and/or the public areas of the building?
: : I recently received a bill from my building management (in NYC) for damages to two doors in the building's public areas. I did not damage either door, so I have no intention of paying $395 for repairs (particularly since one hasn't been repaired and the repairs to the other can't have cost more than $50).
: : Should I just ignore it and let them sue me for it somewhere down the line and have to prove in court that I'm responsible for the damages? Or should I respond in writing that they shouldn't expect payment? (Will that just make them sue sooner?)
: : Do any of these answers change if I add that I'm planning on moving ASAP (with more than 6 months left on the lease) because the lack of maintenance and recently reduced services have made the situation barely liveable?
I just posted an e mail and then noticed Mark's reply. This may sound obvious, but in many areas the landlord is required to try to re-rent a vacated apartment ASAP (as opposed to oines that were already vacant) and as soon as it is rented the old tenant no longer is liable for the rent. In other words, they can't make money twice off the same apartment.
But I definaitely agree with Mark--don't throw caution to the wind.
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