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Landlord locked me out! - NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE ASAP

Posted by Pissed Off Tenant on January 31, 2001 at 09:36:47:

I have a rentstabilized aparment. I wanted to sublet my apartment so I spoke to the Landlord and he said that he would refuse my application outright, without any due process. I was in the process of moving into my b/f's place and he said you should just move back into my apartment. I said, I will move my things back when I have the time. I have paid my rent through January, and there is no litigations pending.

A week or so later I came back to my aparment and he had changed the locks. I then called him and he stated that when I left the apartment I had not locked the door and he wanted to secure the apartment. He said on Saturday that he would meet me in the city on Monday to give me the keys.

Monday, I spoke to him, and he said that his lawyer advised him to not give me the keys. I then had no recourse but to file criminal charges against him at the 6th precinct.

The police officers spoke to him and he was very much an asshole insisting to speak to the supervisor of the officers. The officers gave him the opportunity to give us the keys but he said he was in NJ and couldn't make it to the city. They then instructed him that when he was found he would be arrested.

The landlord instructed the super to open the door which he said he didn't have the key. He sent the porter to climb into the window (which was open since he didn't have to break it to get inside so much for securing the place as he stated) to open the door. When I heard him starting to open the door, I heard the sound of a drill. It turns out he had not only changed the locks, but had screwed a metal flange from the door to the door jamb to insure that I would not have entry into the apartment.

I am now pressing charges against him criminally and civilly. Does anyone recommend a good inexpensive lawyer here in Manhattan?

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