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Small Town Small Claims

Posted by DK on October 01, 1999 at 10:34:16:

In Reply to: Being sued by landlord for damages posted by Debbie on September 20, 1999 at 16:40:00:

: Son and buddy rented an apartment in a small College town,
: Cobleskill, NY. No signed lease but they paid 1 mos. security.
: To my knowledge there is no rent control etc. There are 4 apratments in the building. Turned out the apartment was infested with roaches. Landlord
: sent roach bombs which did nothing. Informed him they were
: moving out. I called exterminator who said if it's that bad
: then furniture will be infested with eggs which don't react to
: treatment. Son asked for reimbursement of lost furniture, landlord
: refused to pay so he informed him he was leaving it as he was
: not bringing it home!! Landlord agreed and also agreed to
: accept security as last month rent. 2 mos. after they moved out

If you can prove everything you say in your post, you should do just fine. I presume that you have been summoned to the small claims part of the Town or Village Justice Court. Bring all of your documentation and be prepared to lay out the whole story. If the court is fair, you should have a pretty good case for "constructive eviction" i.e. that you could not occupy the apartment because of the deficiencies which were the landlord's responsibility.

Beware, however, that in the justice courts in small towns, the justices sometimes have on-going relationships with the landlords who appear before them. There's not much you can do except to be fully prepared to prove each part of your case.
: he called police and wanted them to pay for $490 for paint, dry wall and furniture
: removal. Now 3 mos after that we have to go court for $690 claim
: claiming more damages. If he agreed to accept the security
: as rent isn't that an acknowledgement that the premises were
: ok when they left? Can he come back 5 mos. later and claim this?
: What do we do? How do we defend? HELP!!!

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