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ex-LL trying to gouge security

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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ex-LL trying to gouge security

Postby mjr203 » Mon Aug 12, 2002 2:05 pm

Like a fool I paid my last month rent on my last place and expected my security back.

My scumbag LL has now sent me less than a 1/3 of the deposit.

I have a small claims action scheduled soon and want to contest some of his BS claims.

If anyone has any input on countering LL "receipts" please let me know.

He is claiming 2x what I had it estimated at to replace a broken pane in a window; he is withholding $200 to fix "nailholes" in walls in the apartment (this is not legal, correct); a broken fridge bracket - this is wear and tear! plus he never fixed the other bracket that was broken all year long; replace mailbox lock due to only 1 key returned -- HE ONLY EVER GAVE US ONE KEY TO BEGIN WITH; $150 to paint fire escape due to rust spots from paint cans?

He is basically just trying to keep as much as he thinks he can get away with. How can I fight him?
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Re: ex-LL trying to gouge security

Postby mjr203 » Tue Aug 13, 2002 9:13 am

Originally posted by me again:
2 minor points,
1) anything *broken* is NOT normal wear and tear.
2) just because you got a low estimate, does not commit your ll to use your contractor. maybe he has to deal with union labor, which is more expensive than the local handyman. also, an 'estimate' is just that, and doesn't mean too much, especially is the ll has a receipt from a contractor that did the work.

i do doubt that painting the fire escape would be your responsibility, since, normally, that part of the building is not in your rented space, it is outside.
if the fridge bracket broke it is because he did not repair the other fridge bracket for 11 months!

what a frickin scumbag this guy is. we'll see how amused he is when he gets the DHCR letter.

POINTER
most Landlords suck it.
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Re: ex-LL trying to gouge security

Postby TenantNet » Tue Aug 13, 2002 12:45 pm

Doubt that DHCR will do anything on this (it's not in their jurisdiction to get involved with security deposits). But Me Again is incorrect. Wear & Tear implies things break over time. The test is whether what is broken or worn became that way in the normal course of usage, and that the tenant did not abuse or misuse the item. Paint for the fire escapes: no way. Broken hinges - that probably is wear and tear unless the LL can show you tried to yank the door off the hinges or used it in some way in which it was not intended. Covering nailholes are normal maintenance as is painting - which would cover the nailholes. The Key - usually these are covered by separate key deposits, but it's the LL's burden to show he gave you two. Get some other tenants to claim they also got only one key. Get affidavits from them. As for the broken window, it depends on the circumstances on how it got broke. Usually window panes don't break. But not impossible. ANd it's not a matter of estimates - make him show receipts in small claims court.
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Re: ex-LL trying to gouge security

Postby mjr203 » Tue Aug 13, 2002 2:14 pm

Originally posted by TenantNet:
Doubt that DHCR will do anything on this (it's not in their jurisdiction to get involved with security deposits). But Me Again is incorrect. Wear & Tear implies things break over time. The test is whether what is broken or worn became that way in the normal course of usage, and that the tenant did not abuse or misuse the item. Paint for the fire escapes: no way. Broken hinges - that probably is wear and tear unless the LL can show you tried to yank the door off the hinges or used it in some way in which it was not intended. Covering nailholes are normal maintenance as is painting - which would cover the nailholes. The Key - usually these are covered by separate key deposits, but it's the LL's burden to show he gave you two. Get some other tenants to claim they also got only one key. Get affidavits from them. As for the broken window, it depends on the circumstances on how it got broke. Usually window panes don't break. But not impossible. ANd it's not a matter of estimates - make him show receipts in small claims court.
thanks for the input.

I am taking the exact stance as you outline above. The window he will take out of the deposit and that's fine, but I want to see the receipts. I put my fist through it accidentally the first week we moved in there!

He is essentially trying to make me pay for the regular rehabiliation of the apartment (aka just keeping my money).

SPECIFIC QUESTION: he sent me a check for 1/3 of the $ (his idea of return). We called the court clerk and asked taking into account our case what we should do with the check. The clerk said not to cash the check just to keep it and bring it to court.

Could someone comment on the reasoning behind this? (Makes sense to me not to accept his accounting of the issues at hand, but what about the $?)

thanks

pOINTER
most Landlords suck it.
mjr203
 
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 1:01 am
Location: BKLYN


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