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Old 07-10-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Queens, NY
3 posts, read 11,644 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello all,

I have a some questions that I hope someone could me with or perhaps refer me to a website or other resource where I can get answers.

My boys woke me up this morning telling me that the landlord and a 3rd floor tenant were in our backyard with the tenant's dog. I had heard from a 2nd floor tenant that the landlord had granted permission to the 3rd floor to use the yard and he was planning on buying a grill and throwing a party. While there is basement access to the yard the only real door leading into the yard is in my living room. I am very nervous at the thought of strangers partying in the yard with direct access to my home while I'm not there and if I'm home I won't be able to open the door or window due to the smoke, noise, etc. Also,the third floor tenant has been very rude to me in the past and owns a very large pit bull and I have a small terrier.

Over the past 5 years of his owning the property (I've lived there for 7) this landlord has turned my beautiful yard into a dirt pit by not allowing me to use water. He even went as far as throwing away 2 hoses I bought to water the grass and flowers. I've come home many times to find his wife and adult son smoking and chatting with neighbors in the yard. They use my furniture and leave cigarette butts behind. The smoke wafts into my apt and I have an asthmatic son and they know this.

Also, I should mention that when my lease was up in February he refused to renew it or accept any rent from me. He claimed he needs the apt for personal use because his son's wife was having a baby. This is on top of not making any repairs to my apt over the past 2 years. We are currently in court to resolve the matter.

Sorry for the long post but I felt it was important to include some details on our landlord/tenant relationship. So, is he allowed to grant access to the yard when he or I am not there? Is there anything I can do to keep my yard private?
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Out of this world
277 posts, read 1,285,193 times
Reputation: 164
Sorry to hear about your issue with the landlord. If he needs the apartment for his family and you are unhappy...why not move? Wouldn't you and your family be happier? I don't think it's worth the stress he is causing you. Based on your story it sounds as if they are purposely making you uncomfortable. If he's not accepting your rent, then save it for another place.

I noticed you keep saying "my" back yard. But the reality is the landlord is the "owner" and you are the "renter". What it boils down to is your lease. Does your lease include access to the back yard? Does it say other tenants can have access? In fact, it may not matter since your lease was never renewed.

Just another note about the water. I'm guessing the landlord doesn't want a high water bill. Maybe the previous owner was ok with it, but now you have a new owner and sometimes rules change. Sorry.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Queens, NY
3 posts, read 11,644 times
Reputation: 11
Wish I could move but for a single mom living in NYC, finding an apt of this size with a backyard this size for what I pay is pretty much impossible. Bottom line I can't afford to move. Not to mention my kids friends and schools. I have tried to resolve this as amicably as possible even offering to pay extra rent during the warm months for water usage, something I did with the previous landlord.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:33 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 20,739,640 times
Reputation: 8155
I don't really understand how you are planning to stay there if he won't renew your lease and won't accept rent from you. Sounds like he is getting ready to evict.

You may not be able to afford to move to a comparable space, but it sounds like you will have to move anyway.

Unless there's something I am just not getting?? (I should mention I don't have any legal expertise.)
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:33 AM
 
2,252 posts, read 4,312,915 times
Reputation: 3709
What does the lease say about access to the backyard? When your sons woke you up to tell you they were in the yard, had they entered your apartment while you were sleeping to get to the door?

The lease was up in February. Do you have the "rent" that you did not pay from Feb to now in the bank or an escrow account? If you lose the court case, you will have to pay all that back rent I would guess.

If you cannot afford to move, have no family that will take you in, etc., then you have no choice but to stay there. Your children's friends and school should be a non-issue. Yes, it would be sad for them to have to move but you have to do what is best for the family unit's safety, sanity and well being. That should be explained to them if you have to move.

If the LL is parading people through your apartment to get into the backyard for a party, call the police. It sounds like you have had a bad experience with and are afraid of the tenant with the pit bull; I would be too.

Call Legal Aid and see if there is someone that will talk to you about what is going on there.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Queens, NY
3 posts, read 11,644 times
Reputation: 11
@Henna I have a "legal aid" type lawyer who is working on the case. We go back to court on Tuesday.

@Cleasach no they are not using my apt to get to the yard. They are using an emergency exit in the basement. I have spoken to my kids about moving and they understand, they are older kids, in middle school. It just sucks to leave everything behind after 7 years. Also, I don't know where you live but finding an apt in NYC with a tween, a teen and a dog is ridiculously difficult and expensive. And yes, I have all my rent saved.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:03 AM
 
2,252 posts, read 4,312,915 times
Reputation: 3709
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessyD View Post
@Henna I have a "legal aid" type lawyer who is working on the case. We go back to court on Tuesday.

@Cleasach no they are not using my apt to get to the yard. They are using an emergency exit in the basement. I have spoken to my kids about moving and they understand, they are older kids, in middle school. It just sucks to leave everything behind after 7 years. Also, I don't know where you live but finding an apt in NYC with a tween, a teen and a dog is ridiculously difficult and expensive. And yes, I have all my rent saved.
I'm not suggesting that it's easy. Nothing ever is. It sounds like the owner is preparing to put you out and give the apartment to a family member. I'm just thinking that rather than being surprised with a notice that you have 30 days to move since he needs the apartment for family, that you take a look at what's out there whether it be browsing craigslist or emailing local real estate offices with your space/rental cost needs and see if anything is available.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Out of this world
277 posts, read 1,285,193 times
Reputation: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessyD View Post
Wish I could move but for a single mom living in NYC, finding an apt of this size with a backyard this size for what I pay is pretty much impossible. Bottom line I can't afford to move. Not to mention my kids friends and schools. I have tried to resolve this as amicably as possible even offering to pay extra rent during the warm months for water usage, something I did with the previous landlord.


I agree, it is really expensive in NYC and nobody wants to loose a good deal.

You offered extra money for water usage? hhmmm....I hate to say it, but sounds like this landlord has got it out for you.

I know moving is difficult, but it's going to be more difficult with an eviction on your record. Landlords don't take kindly to evictions. Regardless of the situation.

The judge can't force the landlord to keep you when he's not getting rent. This is a strategy many landlords use to get rid of tenants. Your going to have to move eventually. My advice is to continue to save the money and move. You may pay a little more, but it's not worth the headache if you stay.

It's not worth the stress on your kids. They will make new friends when you move.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:47 AM
 
483 posts, read 714,084 times
Reputation: 2434
Sorry for your situation, it sucks but to echo everyone above, he is getting ready to evict you. You might not win your case and even if you do, do you really want to stay there with all of the crap that you are going through? It will probably be even worse than it is now if you do get to stay. If I were you, I would start looking for another apartment now and have plan a, b and c ready.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:01 AM
 
167 posts, read 417,313 times
Reputation: 169
I say get out. YES, you will have to settle for a smaller place...BUT there are apartments that allow pets. I rented an apartment in Balsam Village in Ozone Park, Queens.....these apartments allowed cats and dogs...AND many of them have yards. ALSO, there was a parking lot and laundry facilities. when I found this place I felt like i struck gold! Good luck
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