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Fire in illegal attic bedroom

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Fire in illegal attic bedroom

Postby KL » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:04 pm

A friend was living in a private two family home for the last ten years. Last Sunday they had a fire in the attic bedroom, that was used by their daughter. The Fire dept did not deem the home unlivable. Fire was deemed accidental due to a wire. Today they finally got the heat/water and electricity restored. The place was rented as a two bedroom apartment which included the attic as a bedroom.

I checked the DOB website and notice that there was an open violation for an illegal bedroom in the attic dating back to 2007. My friend stated that the landlord’s daughter who is also on the deed claims that she is planning to sue the tenant for adding a bedroom in the attic. This is not the case it was rented that way.

My questions are:

Didn’t the DOB inform the landlord of these issues and should he have cured them.

Is blaming the tenant a defense.

Can the tenant sue for her lost items in the attic bedroom since it was illegal (unknown to her.)

Any comments are appreciated
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Postby TenantNet » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:17 pm

In our opinion,
they should have, but they will claim they didn't know.
they can try to blame the tenant, so make sure you can prove it was rented that way.
The tenant can sue, but who knows if they will win.
But be prepared to lose the lease.
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Postby KL » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:55 pm

Thanks for the response. They dont have a lease, so they know they will likely have to leave. They are actively looking fo another place. Their concern was being sued by the LL for modifications that the did not make. Based on what I've read, I don't think the LL has a claim. I think the LL is just making threats to get them to move faster, ie w/o 30 notice or holdover action.
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