Posted by John Q on February 19, 1999 at 03:06:14:
I am a tenant for 30 years in my apartment. My recent landlord has been doing all he can to remove me or cause me to leave my rent controlled apartment for five(5) years- since he bought the place.
On the advice of a pro-se attorney at civil court building, I have been withholding my rent since late 1997(After my LL withdrew his DHCR eviction petition against me at day two of the hearing). I was advised to wait till the LL sued me and then counter-sue. The LL did not follow the script and did not ask me for the rent.
This past December, we met(at my request) to discuss an end to our stand-off. I asked for the meeting because I have been recovering from major surgery and needed desperatly to relax and heal. I told him that if he would remedy the most outstanding problems and stop harrasing me I would pay the rent plus some (not all) of the past rent, just so I could relax and heal. LL said he would consider it. Note: these repairs were for "restoration" of services LL decreased- my previous HP action(succesful) inspector said he could not include them in his request for "repairs".
After a month of sending follow-up letters (repair requests included) and requests for a reply, I recieved a three day notice for rent dated back to 1996(I paid this rent, but upon examination, his rent recipts have no rent period on them- only the month money was recieved). I spoke to LL's lawyer as insructed on the notice and told him about my proposed compromise. LL's lawyer told me to send him a copy of my proposal by fax. I did so (I included medical records stating my fragile condition). I called for two weeks straight, he said he hadn't spoken to his clients. It is now almost a month after my fax -still no reply. I also sent these papers to LL's address - return recipt was signed "S. Smith"(not their name). Should I be concerned? Arent they supposed to follow-up on their "3-day notice"? Isn't the lawyer supposed to respond to my fax? I need help. I am at a loss. Please advise me. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
(More info: My landlord is a church/corporation. As of last week, they have begun holding church services in the apartment directly below me. This is the only other apt. in the building. I asked him if the church (a converted storefront on the ground floor) was unusable or damaged and he said "No, but every Friday we try to have services in a different place" and said he will use the apt. for services again. This is a new church practice, one that is designed to make me leave, but the police said they can do nothing and refused to come by or give me proof that I made the complaint. What can be done? I have to stop this. I am still recovering and It is not healthy for me.
In six years together he has refused to make important repairs(i've won two H.P.actions against him), taken away the door-opening buzzer that was here when he bought the building(I am two flights up,!!), and taken me to court four(4) times only to either adjorn (and not follow-up) or dismiss his cases. All of these times I have taken off of work to show up (and spent hours with pro-se lawyers at civil court and on Tenant-Net preparing to defend.) I need my life back!!
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