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Unread 08-13-2008, 07:36 AM
 
4 posts, read 28,955 times
Reputation: 13
Angry How long can I avoid paying rent before I am evicted?

Hello everybody. I have lived in the same house since approx 2000.
Recently the house has been infested with bedbugs(at least the last 2 yrs+. I have complained to the scummy landlord, the nassau county board of health, and the village of hempstead bldg dept.
The dept of health called the landlord(after I made the complaint) at least 4 times, advising him that his house was infested w bedbugs and they he must hire a licensed exterminator. Of course he did not do that, in the course of the last 2 yrs or greater, he sent an 'exterminator' who obviously was not licensed (who wore a teeshirt with a bogus exterminating non-existent company); the so- called exterminator then mixed 99 parts water with 1 part suspend sc and saturated my room which I rent from the slumlord.
The board of health though aware of these deporable conditions only made phone calls to the landlords home(not where I live obviously) telling him he would have to address the problem.
Then one day I called the nassau county board of health; they then told me there was a change in policy and their agency did not consider bedbugs to be 'of any danger or pose any threat or communicable disease to anyone. They advised me to call village of hempstead bldg inspector.
Of couse it is years later, I am still waking uo with bite marks all over my back not be mention my rear end etc.
I decided that I was not going to put up with this any longer. I refused to pay the rent(did not pay august's rent); received from the district court of nassau a notice of petition with the landlord's and my name on it(and his lawyer)
'petitioner requests final judgement, awarding possession to the petitioner; issuance of a warrant of eviction and a money judgement of ---with interest from 8-1-08'
I have a court date next monday in village of hempstead.
Here are the facts:
The house is actually a rooming type boarding house(though most tenants have left) it is actually a one family house that the landlord originally purchased for prob. 10-$15.000 about 40 yrs ago, then illegally converted it to a rooming house.
The landlord has begged me in the past not to let the bldg inspector of the village of hempstead in the premise, because the inspector will write him up w a million fines and also make all the tenants leave because this dwelling is illegal.
(I do have at least 10 pages of docs from dept of health(nassau county) documenting each time I made a complaint to them re the bedbug problem and their recourse of calling the landlord at his home advising him to hire a licensed exterminator and to exterminate frequently(of couse the landlord did not do this)
(nassau county dept of health never once sent an inspector to my house to examine the premises)
I have a legal aid type lawyer who is well versed(I hope)in these types of situations.
My question to you out there(please do not post advice if you are not sure of the correct answer or you just heard something like this from someone else) is how long can I prolong my case w/out paying any rent to the landlord(was told by a reputable source, not in legal profession) that I could withhold up to 6 months w/out paying rent.)
I also have taken about 40 very high quality pics w a quality digital camera of blood on the bathroom wall, mold all over the bathroom, cracks of paint peeling , panels covered with duct tape in the room I rent; everything depicting the deplorable living conditions I am subject to(and the other tenants who are petrified to make any complaint) in this disgusting illegal rooming house in village of hempstead.
I have been looking for another place to live(obviously difficult to find in nassau county); I have enough money saved to pay for room+ security by I don't want to go from one bad place to another.
I receive ssd (disabilty) + I have another job so that I can afford to move to a better place when its time.
My lawyer said she is going to ask for 1 wk extension when I go to court next week(why not longer period, I don't know)
If anyone has extensive knowledge related to this situation, or knows of somebody that went thru similar circumstances recently in some area of long island, please post on here, any sound advice would be appreciated.
(By the way, I am not on the section 8 program, my rent alwayspaid w personal cks from my bank account and have never missed a payment in over 4 yrs for rent(until August 2008)
If you need more info or detail on this, feel free to post.
(I believe that there is a new law that states that any establishment in nassau county which is classified as a rooming house is required to pay 32,000.00 per yr in taxes)
Thanks everyone, have a good day.
Your sound advice is very much appreciated.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,320 posts, read 8,899,613 times
Reputation: 2126
I would think that if you have a lawyer already, the better place to get the answers to your questions is with that lawyer.
States and counties/cities have differing laws and various requirments. Your particulat situation is very specific and the lawyer is the one who will have the answers.
Sounds like your not paying the rent and saving up to move somewhere else. I would think with such a quick court date, even with an extension, you will be evicted before the end of the month, the latest, mid September.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
1,269 posts, read 2,917,726 times
Reputation: 1034
Definitely talk to the lawyer and be very careful about withholding rent. In some jurisdictions, yes there are circumstances you can "withhold" rent---->however, that typically does not mean "simply not pay". It means that you continue to pay but rather than being given to the landlord, it is deposited into an escrow account, typically held by the city or building commission or perhaps even an attorney, until whatever the issue is has been resolved.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,668 posts, read 4,891,338 times
Reputation: 1443
Ditto! If you withhold rent you will be in fault and your credibility will be in question, accused of causing the infestation and financially liable for etermination fees. You need to either pay to a third party (rental escrow) attorney, or talk to your lawyer about "Constructive Eviction" meaning that your house is uninhabitable and you are forced to move. This allows you to break a lease. However, if you've been withstanding this for 2 years, the courts won't see it as being untolerable (blood on the bathroom wall?). The house being illegally converted to a commercial property doesn't necessarily mean you'll get your rent back, as you got what you paid for. Landlord's legal problems won't benefit you.These are my opinions only.

Last edited by ESFP; 08-13-2008 at 09:37 AM.. Reason: grammer
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Unread 08-19-2008, 07:40 PM
 
39,532 posts, read 39,195,865 times
Reputation: 11589
Ask your lawyer and yes your complain might have alot less weight if your being evicted. Hard for law enforcement to act when someone has a revenge motive for giving information.Besides if it isn't a legal boarding house they maybe able to remove you without a eviction.
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Unread 08-19-2008, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Peoples Republic of Cali
9,194 posts, read 4,190,747 times
Reputation: 4972
Ummm why don't you just move???
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Unread 08-19-2008, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Cranford NJ
985 posts, read 2,012,758 times
Reputation: 315
Repair and deduct, If these conditions are so deplorable, Call your own exterminator and pay for it, then deduct it from the rent and hand over the reciept to the landlord. Keep copies of everything. If you still have other issues then move.
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Unread 08-21-2008, 08:14 AM
 
4 posts, read 28,955 times
Reputation: 13
Most of you are incorrect, giving out wrong, incorrect info. It seems that a majority of you are landlords/real estate agents.
Went to court was postponed, next court date my lawyer announces we are going to trial.
Even though the house is illegal, the landlord and his cronies must go through due process.
Also I have a legitimate complaint, not to mention as lawsuit attached to it.
By the way, thank you Sergio, but the landlord refused to let me deduct any repair costs or the costs of my exterminating myself. As a result he will be the subject of my lawsuit(can't get into details of this on here)
Most of you have obviously never been in a situation like this.
Sometimes you have to take a stand-
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Unread 08-21-2008, 09:11 AM
 
8,347 posts, read 8,748,350 times
Reputation: 3998
"Hello everybody. I have lived in the same house since approx 2000.
Recently the house has been infested with bedbugs(at least the last 2 yrs+. I have complained to the scummy landlord, the nassau county board of health, and the village of hempstead bldg dept."

So you are saying you lived there for six years without bedbugs and have only had them for the last two years.

My question is why should the landlord pay for something that you seem to have brought in?

Two things in my leases when I rent to someone. The house has been inspected for bugs and other pest and the plumbing has been checked for clogs. You have thirty days to bring to my attention to either pest or cloged plumbing and after that you pay... I will not pay because you clog the plumbing or keep a dirty home and attract pest.

Last edited by Houston3; 08-21-2008 at 09:21 AM..
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Unread 08-21-2008, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 17,063,825 times
Reputation: 3580
Dirty homes don't attract bed bugs.
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