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Sublet eviction horror

Posted by Elizabeth Fullerton on August 28, 1999 at 19:39:18:

I moved at the beginning of July from Washington, DC. Because I moved from
out of town, I got a broker -- more expensive, but things would be done
right, I figured. Wrong. The overtenant left the place trashed -- rotting garbage
spread all over the kitchen, dirty underwear and papers left out, etc.
I told him immediately that I wasn't going to consider myself as having
taken possession until he got his stuff out. Three weeks later, when he
finally did, he began threatening and insulting me. But the broker kept
reassuring me that I was in the right, had a valid lease, and shouldn't
worry. Then this morning I was served with termination papers from the
REAL landlord. It seems the overtenant is profiteering by overcharging
me on the rent-stabilized apartment, as well as neglected to get permission
from the landlord. I brought up the landlord approval before I signed
the sublease, and twice afterwards while the overtenant and I were
wrangling, but I didn't notify the landlord. Now it seems I was right after all
to be suspicious. But what do I do now? I have no reason to think the landlord is
out to get me, and I have good refs, credit record, etc. Would he want to kick me
out because of the overtenant? And should I trust my broker? He seems
to have dropped the ball several times before, and gotten rude when
my questions (valid, as it turns out) contradicted his "everything's
all right" attitude. Or is he my best go-between with the landlord?
I have a little money saved up, but really don't want to blow it on
lawyers. I'm confused on so many levels. Thanks in advance for your
help. Elizabeth.

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