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Disabled Tenant facing Possible Eviction

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Disabled Tenant facing Possible Eviction

Postby redhawk2005 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:00 am

I am a disabled veteran and month-to-month tenant renting a house in Upstate NY. My landlord and his wife are possibly getting a divorce, and he has indicated to me that his wife might be seeking to move into the house I am renting. No formal or informal notice of her intent to do so has been sent to me as yet.

To make this as short as possible I will list my concerns:

1. I believe landlord or his wife will try to make me pay for the deck which was in poor condition when I moved in and which has not been cleaned or resealed in 17 years.

2. That she will make me pay for the carpeting, which does have some stains due to being laid in the kitchen itself, but which is 17 years old.

3. She will try to make me pay for other miscellaneous items such as rust on the refrigerator door, rust on the entrance door (which is near totally rotted out) and rotten out wall and missing tiles in the bathroom. One refrigerator drawer is damaged due to a break-in by a bear. Who is responsible for the cost of the drawer?

4. landlord has not maintained two month security deposit in separate bank account but has "comingled" funds with his own. Can I demand security deposit back prior to expiration of lease or use it for last two months rent?

5. Landlord told me that his wife would be coming to the house with the Town's building inspector to do an inspection, and that the inspector was a personal friend of hers through a church they are both involved with. I am concerned that building inspector will be operating as landlord's agent while claiming to represent the Town. His wife even asked me what day I would be available for him to inspect, as if she is his secretary.

6. The road to the house is severely damaged and has not been maintained for 17 years. This has led to damage to my car including damage to the exhaust system and rust from the undercarriage being hit with loose rocks and being mired in rocky mud. I have asked the landlord orally to fix this and he has refused, but I am not sure if I also asked in an e-mail.

7. Due to poor maintenance of the road and its drainage ditches, water drains down into the property flooding almost the entire back yard and a lower section beneath it every time it rains, though the house itself remains above the water. I often have to wade through ankle-deep mud and water to get to the deck and enter the house.

8. Flooding has made it impossible for me to mow the lawn as is required by my lease. Not only is the water an obstacle but the numerous holes and rocks floating to the surface due to 17 years of unabated flooding. No commercial landscaper I have asked has been willing to do the job due tho these obstacles or they have asked an exorbitant amount of money due to the threat to their equipment and personnel from rocks and holes.

9. I am wondering if I may claim a breach of the warrant of habitability due to the flooding and also recover damages due to the damage to my car. If so, how far back can I claim this given I am not sure when I gave the landlord written notice if at all? I did complain about this 17 years ago and several times since orally.

10. Because I am disabled I cannot possibly move within 30 days of receiving notice to vacate. I have already indicated this to the landlord even though no such notice has been given. Is there any way I can get more time to pack my stuff and find a new place, particularly given that there are outstanding issues at play here?

I am not interested in a battle with the landlord but they have sued every tenant they have ever had and are apparently quite successful getting money out of them in court. They have a long history of scamming people and using people's services and not paying them afterwards. If they would give me a few months to leave and not sue me over stuff I am not responsible for I would be willing to leave on good terms and forget everything that has happened but otherwise I will need to fight to protect myself from their scams.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Re: Disabled Tenant facing Possible Eviction

Postby TenantNet » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:11 am

Since you're outside NYC, the LL must give you one month notice. See viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5024 for the rules for M2M tenants.

You might be able to negotiate for more time, but now is the time to start looking.

You list concerns that they will "make you pay..." How? Other than withhold the security deposit, they can't make you pay unless they take you to court.

Much of what you question has to do with ongoing maintenance. That is what you pay rent for. When you use things (like carpeting) in the way it's intended, that is normal wear and tear, and not something that would be considered damages.

Asking you what day you would be available is a courtesy not many tenants get. Don't get upset about that.

I don't think you're going to get very far with claims about the road, flooding,etc.

As for withholding rent to get back the deposit, look http://tenant.net/Rights/CTRC/ctrcf006.html

Some tenants have withheld rent. Theoretically that's not how it's supposed to work, but then theoretically LL's should keep deposits in separate accounts (how do you know they haven't done so?). What that would do is put the burden on the LL to sue you rather than the other way. It's not legal or illegal, but a contract issue. If you have/had a lease, see if it's covered there. Also, take MANY photos of conditions to document things, get what proof exists as for requests for maintenance and see if other tenants who have previously been sued are willing to support you.
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Re: Disabled Tenant facing Possible Eviction

Postby redhawk2005 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:37 am

Thanks for your quick response.

What I am concerned about is that she is friends with the building inspector and they are going to try and blame me for much of the damage or decay here. Her husband warned me in a vague way that they were planning some kind of action against me. As I said the rug does have stains but they are in the kitchen where it is impossible to avoid them and I don't feel I should have to pay for a 17-year-old rug. "Normal wear and tear" is a vague term at best so I suspect their lawyer can get around that easy enough. There are also marks on the walls from people rubbing against them for years as they walked in the halls. They have never painted inside or out.

I know the landlord has not held my security deposit in trust because I have previously asked about this and he refused to give me the details of the account.

I fully expert the landlord to sue me as they have done so with all their tenants. Judges up here are not trained legal professionals but tradesmen, school bus drivers, etc who do judging part-time. From what I have heard they tend to defer to the lawyers on the specifics of the law or can be fairly arbitrary in their decision making.

It states in the link you provided that landlord outside NYC can give me oral notice for the 30 day notice. What is to prevent him from claiming he did so already and then saying I am lying when I deny it?

Thank you
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:01 am

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