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Possible Illegal Three-Family House

Posted by Mark Smith on August 19, 1999 at 12:11:54:

In Reply to: Security to Apartment posted by Emily on August 19, 1999 at 09:58:37:

You should consult an attorney immediately. The attorney will probably advise you to stop paying rent. You appear to be living in what once was an attic. You may not have to pay rent or use and occupancy under Sections 301, 302, and 325 of the Multiple Dwelling Law.

Do you have a written lease? Do you get rent receipts? Do you get bills from Con Edison, Bell Atlantic, Time Warner Cable, etc.?

The front door should probably be replaced with a secure, fire resistant door. A fire escape should probably be installed. If you retain an attorney and are advised not to pay rent, the landlord would have to bring an ejectment action in state Supreme Court to remove you, and you might not have to pay rent and/or use and occupancy. You might get a rent rebate for the unsafe door and the lack of a fire escape.

: Hello,

: I live in a three story house in 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.

: And the front door is very secure.

: 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

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