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Without a lease no legal recourse.

Posted by John on June 07, 2000 at 08:43:11:

In Reply to: Refrigerator requirements in a no-lease apartment posted by Kitt on June 06, 2000 at 20:30:42:

Without a lease, depending where you live at you can receive a thirty day notice to move for no reason other than to vacate the premises. If you live in a rent stablized or rent controlled apartment then you could contact your local housing department and raise your problem with them.

Not having a lease doesn't exclude the landlord from making repairs or providing services, but the landlord can avoid making those repairs by kicking you out before you can file the proper papers in housing court. I suggest you talk to your landlord about receiving a yearly lease and the services he/she will provide for you during your tenancy in writing. If you live in a building with five apartments or less, then you live in a private dwelling. Houses of three apartments or less are private houses and the laws are different when it comes to different locations.

For example: I lived in a three family house in New York and the landlord didn't provide adequate heat, because it was a private house, my tenancy became an issue, because I complained too much (no heat even in the dead of winter, landlord had electric heaters in his apartment) with the courts. Without a lease, I was told by my landlord my tenancy would end with a 30 day notice and that I had to find a new place to live.
Was it retalitory? Yes, but proving it in court would take time and paperwork and the eviction proceedings would be in progress. I gave up and moved out.

Good luck

: I have no lease for the apartment in which I've lived for over four years. This has generally been not a problem for me, but it makes me a little timid when it comes to asserting my rights. Over the weekend, the ancient non-frost free refrigerator in my apartment died (admittedly, I helped it along, but it was definitely on the way). When I told the landlord, I figured we'd split the cost of a new one (I figured that was fair), and he told me: "I no longer provide refrigeration in my apartments. If the refrigerator works, I let it stay, if it doesn't, the tenant has to provide one." Ergo: I'm stuck buying the whole thing for myself. I told him if I owned it, I'd be taking it with me when I moved; he said "Fine!"

: My question is this: Even though I don't have a lease, do I have any rights? Is the landlord required to provide refrigeration? Is it worth going to small claims court or deducting some of the cost from my rent? If anyone has any thoughts, I'd be very grateful.

: Thanks in advance!

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