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Old 01-04-2012, 03:07 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,160 times
Reputation: 11

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i live in queens. a couple months ago we noticed bedbugs AND roaches. we told our landlord about the issue and he told us that he'd get an exterminator. so because we have a history of false promisses from him we decided to with hold rent from him until we got a date from him when they would show up. this creep gets an exterminator there for an assessment and we pay him and the buttface tells us that the exterminator will be there monday. so, we complyed with the exterminators instructions and put all our belongings in garbage bags so that he can spray. exterminator never shows up.
instead of us gettng an exterminator he decides to give us a 30 day to vacate notice. our lease expired years ago. we intern filed an hpd case to get him to fix all the issues in the apartment. the inspecter found 9 violations to be fixed. the last time we payed rent was 3 months ago. pending notice to vacate.. eviction court (case was dismissed due to him screwing up his paperwork) hpd case.. amazingly he learned how to fix drywall and the holes in my ceiling 3 years after he said.. he'll be there tuesday. amazingly he found the money for the exterminator since his big argument was he didnt have the money for the exterminator. once a judge ordered him to fix this stuff he did it IMMEDIATELY. THE NEXT day but for 3 months i lived out of garbage bags, with mold, with holes in my ceiling. now he's demanding his back rent again. is he entitled to ALL his back rent??

note: i occupy the upstairs and he has an illegal basement with a tennant there. i occupy the rest of the house. the landlord pays 1/3 of the utilities while i pay the other 2.

will the judge really make me pay ALL back rent???
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:10 PM
 
8,747 posts, read 17,611,640 times
Reputation: 4168
Everyone is always trying to get out of paying money they owe...anything to get out of paying rent. This is why I screen my tenants so thoroughly. Withholding rent is always a great way to a establish a good relationship with a Landlord, as is filing a complaint with HPD!

The first time a tenant withholds rent is when they receive an eviction notice. I will happily repair all HPD required problems, and still pursue your eviction and follow-thru until you were out. I will then make sure it is on your credit report and housing court record. The gift that keeps giving...
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:13 PM
 
221 posts, read 505,192 times
Reputation: 109
Put the money in escrow until problems are fixed.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:15 PM
 
8,747 posts, read 17,611,640 times
Reputation: 4168
The problems have been fixed..now she just doesn't want to pay because she "feels" she shouldn't for XYZ reasons. I hope this guy evicts her...if she withholds rent now, she will do it again for some other reason..and nobody has the time and energy to play these games. If he's smart he will finish the eviction, otherwise he is asking for a headache for years to come.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:17 PM
 
Location: New York City
66 posts, read 172,951 times
Reputation: 42
You cannot withhold rent from a landlord unless you have a written notice to him (and a copy of the letter) stating what the problem with the apartment is. It has to be a quality of life issue (bedbugs are considered such). If the landlord does not fix it you must write a second notice with a deadline to fix said issues (obviously a copy of it must be kept by you as well). If the landlord STILL does not fix the problems, then you must contact a Real Estate attorney regarding the withholding of rent. I'd recommend putting the withheld rent in an escrow account as it'll show the courts that you had no intention of just keeping the money for yourself. THEN if the landlord chooses to evict you, you have a solid case against him.

But it seems like it may be too late in your case. There are a lot of scummy landlords in this city, that is why laws favor tenants over landlords. However, there is still a process you have to go through in order to get the courts on your side. Good luck.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:17 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,160 times
Reputation: 11
i have no problem paying my rent as i have been for years prior to this situation. but when he decided to rent the basement out to someone and i suddenly got roaches and bedbugs after years of paying my rent on time. why was fixign the problem so hard????

i have NO problem paying my rent. if i'm SUPPOSED to pay my rent. this isn't a plea from someone who doesnt want to pay rent.

why is it hard for landlords to FIX what's wrong with their tenants housing? no screening in the world would have deterred you from giving my an apartment. my credit is excellent. all my previous landlords are excellent references.

i just wanted the problems FIXED and instead of fixing the problem he decided to evict me!
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:21 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,160 times
Reputation: 11
also let it be noted that i WON my hpd case!!!! they werent a list of bogus complaints i made no, the apartment was inspected and i won the case.

my issue is i lived with a quality of life issue for 3 months. for 3 months i did as INSTRUCTED abd bagged a family of 5's belongings and lived out of bags for 3 months before he was ORDERED to fix it.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:24 PM
 
8,747 posts, read 17,611,640 times
Reputation: 4168
I suspect it would have been fixed had you not withheld rent in the first place. No doubt exterminators don't show up when they are supposed to..but the second I have an inkling rent is being withheld, what incentive is there to fix anything? Sounds like you chose not to communicate with the LL about why you were withholding rent?

No doubt you won your case with HPD. You can bring them in to any apt in NYC and they will find something that needs fixing...which in turn is a "violation." The LL fixed them. Great..you won...so what? Sounds like you soured the relationship with the LL....I would move if I were you. You will be much happier anyway.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
7,844 posts, read 12,492,681 times
Reputation: 9238
You know what Judge Judy would have said? She would have said to move out if you didn't like where you were living. You can't withhold rent. People do not buy multifamily homes so others can live for free while the LL has to pay the mortgage on the house. Sobro makes an excellent point. If you felt you should withhold rent because of the living conditions then all you had to do was speak to the LL. Never burn your bridges because if you need references from a former LL, he may make it difficult for you to rent elsewhere. As for the bedbugs, I don't think you can blame the person living in the basement for that unless you both use the same washer/dryer in the house, share common areas or if either of you have been in each other's apartment. As for roaches, they can come from anywhere. Is the tenant downstairs having issues also and was that apartment inspected?
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:35 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 21,903,321 times
Reputation: 6281
SleepyHa, I am not a landlord in New York so can;t answer anything specific to NY laws and regulations. But, if you read the or post this to CD's Real Estate - Renting forum, I can bet the number 1 question you would be asked 9and it was mentioned already here) Did you follow the proper procedures as outlined in the law for the witholding of the rent? You may be allowed to withhold rent under certain conditions. You may be allowed to even terminate a lease under certain conditions. And you may even be allowed to sue the landlord for hefty damages and expenses under certain conditions, BUT all those conditions comes with some requirement that you must do it a specific and certain way. Most state Landlord/Tenant laws favor the tenant but in return for favoring the tenant, they require the tenant follow a specific set of guidelines. If you don't know if you followed the guidelines, odds are you didn't and no amount of favorable treatment can overcome a failure to do what you were required to do. Good luck, just my 2 cents....
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