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Landlord won't reimburse...now I'M going to court

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Landlord won't reimburse...now I'M going to court

Postby Holly » Thu Jun 12, 2003 7:30 pm

To anyone who might have an answer:

Several months ago I locked the door after entering my apartment, and as I attempted to exit again the door would not reopen. After many attempts to open it, several calls to my super with no answer, and the need to get to work increasing, I left a final message to my super stating that I had no choice but to call a locksmith and get reimbursed for the bill later.
With no other options, I called a 24 hour locksmith(this was at 7pm)and the eventual bill, including replacement of the lock was an outrageous $406.
I then proceeded to call my landlord and told him the situation, yet again with no reply... so I let him know by message that I was going to deduct that amount from my rent if he didn't call me back and notify me otherwise.
He didn't accept that payment, and I eventually contacted him. He told me that the amount was too outrageous(he's telling me, I 'm the one who laid out the money!), and he wouldn't pay for it because it wasn't "authorized"
Now he's taking me to court, and attempting to evict me on grounds of nonpayment.
This seems so ridiculous to me, and I am wondering if anyone knows what kind of case I have in housing court. Should I have to pay for his lock? How could I get it "authorized" when no one answered me and I had to get out of my apartment to get to work?
I have to appear at the Civil Housing court within the next days and need any advice I can get.
PLLLeassse help me,
Holly
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Re: Landlord won't reimburse...now I'M going to court

Postby Cranky Tenant » Fri Jun 13, 2003 10:07 am

I think there was a similar thread on this forum where the locksmith charged even more. I suspect Locksmiths really jack up their rates as soon as normal business hours end.

My guess is, a lot of this will depend on how well you can document the expense. The landlord may be well aware of the cost, which would explain why he never responded to your phone calls.

If this ever happens again you could simply call the police.
I'm a cranky tenant NOT a cranky lawyer.
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Re: Landlord won't reimburse...now I'M going to court

Postby jot0n0 » Fri Jun 13, 2003 12:57 pm

Without knowing the extent of the repair/replacement, $406 may not be that outrageous.

(1). Service call was placed after business hours which incur a nighttime surcharge on top of locksmith usually $50-$75 just for showing up, in addition to whatever their hourly labor rates are.

(2). Work performed, did he have to drill the cylinder? The type of lock or cylinder he replace with (i.e. Medico lock are pricey).

The price would probably be around $100 if all locksmith had to do was pick the lock to gain entry, but if the lock was not operating even from the inside, it's probable a major mechanical failure.

And I don’t know if calling the police would have been a cheaper alternative. They may just break down the door, which usually end up costing more to fix.

Holly, you didn't mention it on your posting, but did you try compromising with LL on paying for half the cost?
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Re: Landlord won't reimburse...now I'M going to court

Postby Cranky Tenant » Fri Jun 13, 2003 2:07 pm

Here is a similar thread posted in January which mentions a similar price.

Maybe $400 some odd dollars isn't as outrageous as we though.

<small>[ June 13, 2003, 02:11 PM: Message edited by: Cranky Tenant ]</small>
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