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broker rented out illegal sublet - who can help?

Posted by B on May 18, 2001 at 11:05:14:

Hi - to cut a long story short - I just moved to NYC last August from abroad. I used a broker to rent my apt. The broker showed me the apt. with the landlord I was assured everything was legal. The landlord told me he was on the board and approved me on the credit check or anything. One week later I was told by a board member at my coop that I was an illegal tenant. Also my landlord was not a member of the board. I have since then found out that it is well known in the area that this landlord is considered dangerous and other brokers do not work with him becuase they know of his dodgy situation. The apt. was auctioned and now a new tenant wants to move in. I know i have no rights as I was a subtenant on an illegal lease and I have found a new place to live. My question is what is a broker's responsibilty as far as making sure they are not renting out illegal apartments? Do they not have a duty to ensure there landlords are renting out space legally? Are they not profitting from an illegal action here? Or can I sue the landlord for accepting rent on an illegal lease. The story is much more complex than I have written here (the landlord also made sexual suggestions to me, the broker lied on various other issues aswell, the landlord gave me a false name and forged signatures of a fictitious owner etc) but these are the basics. Please help! I am desperate to find out who I can talk to to get some justice here. This has ruined my first 10 months in a city I have always wanted to live in.

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