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Warranty of Habitability/Illegal conversion

Posted by David on October 12, 2000 at 07:20:05:

I rent an apartment in Rockland County,New York with a month to month lease/rental agreement. I have been there approximately 3 years, and in that time the condition of the building has deteriorated from bad to worse. Roaches, loud music at 3 a.m., gaping holes in walls with exposed plumbing, dozens of stray cats, destruction of personal property by drunken friends of other tenants, rusted through shower floor that leaks on to electrical wiring, and more. I called the health dept about a year ago who wrote up several violations which of course were never taken care of by the LL. I've spoken to the LL countless times to get things done, and all I ever got for my trouble wwere broken promises and rent increases. So I witheld my rent 2 months ago. Now I received a petition to recover the apartment and the mponey I owe him. Since that time, ALL the tenenats have now received letters of eviction because the bulding dept is closing him down due to the fact that the apartments are all illegal. He registered the house as 2 family when in fact there are 5 or 6 rental units, and has been classified a rooming house. Of course he is claiming that he knew nothing about the problems or conditions of thr building. Do I have a better chance on the warranty of habitability issue or the illegal apartment? I have been told that I have stayed there too long to fight him on warranty of habitability issues. True? (Sorry for the long post)

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