Posted by Emily Marsano on August 19, 1999 at 09:54:21:
I live in a three story housein Queens. My roommate and I rent the third floor.
The problem is that the door to our apartment is the kind that is more suited to a bathroom or closet. Cheap foam core.
The lock on this door is falling off, probably because several locks have been installed in the same area over a period of time--allowing the area to become stripped.
We asked our landlady to replace the door and lock. She came over and looked at it, said there was nothing wrong with it and that was the end of that.
The reasons I think she doesn't want tor replace the door:
She is unaware that a foam core door to an apartment is not fire retardant and therefore illegal.
She spent a lot of money fixing the place up for us in the bathroom and kitchen.
We have three cops living below us.
We also suspect that she has rented the apartment to us illegally: she asked for the security deposit in cash, and "prefers rent in cash".
Another problem is that we have no means of escape save for our windows in the event of a fire.
What are our legal rights? In terms of getting the door and lock replaced, in terms of how we pay her rent, the fire escape issue, and the possibility that we are renting from an illegal landlady?
And the front door is very secure.
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