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Unfinished REHAB,"absent" landlord, I am now a super?

Posted by Stephen on February 07, 2000 at 11:22:47:

I rented a floor through in Ft. Green. Saw it last week of sept 99 during a large Rehab. Put down, First/Last/sec that day. 3 months. I was supposed to move in Nov.1. I allowed my lease in Inwood to lapse to do this,

Landlord, a nice lady from what I could tell, had just bought the building.

Nov.1. Almost no additional Positive work had been done. but the only beautiful old fixtures (an entry way wooden piece and a marble fireplace) had been stripped out.

I made 6 phone calls (none returned) and sent 2 letters (not responded to) including second one demanding return of my monies.

The tenant on the first floor, who I befriended, called to tell me a crew had re-appeared. I showed up to find they had done a slap together, cleaned up, and left.

I was down to my last three days in my old apartment, another tenant was leasing it, and I moved in on Dec 2nd. I sent a letter to the Landlord thanking her for fixing the place, though hoped she would communicate more in the future and I was beginning my payment as of DEC 1st. I also informed her:

The following things were still wrong with the place.

1) There is no electricity in 1/2 of the apartment, including the hall and bedroom.

2) No hot water was hooked up to the bathroom sink.

3) No coverplates were put on any of the electrical outlets or switches,

4) (discovered after being there for 1 week) the roof leaks in the bedroom.

5) I had salvaged the demolished pieces of the marble fireplace from the dumpster and was going to restore it. It was a feature she had listed in the apartment and one of the reasons I had chosen the apartment.

No response was recieved.

4 phone calls were made to the landlord (none returned), I sent the January Rent with a letter restating the problems. Check was cashed, no response by phone or letter to anything listed.

I am hiring electricians and plumbers to complete the unfinished rehab. I have sent a letter informing the landlord of this, that I am withholding rent to do this, using the money to pay for the work. The other tenants in the building have also not heard from the landlord regarding other problems, and I have suggested they do the same. The tenant on floor one, a retired and kind man, has asked me to help him with problems that should be landlord based. I have done so, as he is physically unable. I think I should bill the landlord for this too, but does this then make me liable as a super?

I am within my rights in this regard to withholding monies for unfinished work, but what happens if I take on work to patch the roof, help other tenants and

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