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To pay or not to pay

Posted by sd on May 24, 2001 at 01:55:09:

I'm in a non-stabilized apt. in Brooklyn, 3-family home. I wrote before about how my building has had no electricity since May 11 and I'm getting electricity from 2 extension cords running from another building the landlord owns. The electricity was cut off because of non-payment and Con Edison won't restore it until wiring problems are fixed and 3 separate meters are installed. Well, I made a complaint and an inspector came out today - the very day work was started on the electrical problem! The inspector seemed to be saying that having no electricity wasn't really a big deal since I have the extension cords. He basically said other people have worse problems. But he took a report and I'm supposed to check in about a week to see what has been determined. My question is: how do I now proceed as far as rent? I sent a letter stating that I will not pay rent for any day that I don't have electricity. The inspector has shaken my confidence in my right to have "real" electricity and not pay if I don't have it.

Also, it seems that the building is in violation of codes that say it is supposed to have only 2 apartments, not 3. The basement apartment is not technically legal. I know that does not affect my apartment, but could that help me if I want to try to get out of my lease and get as much money back as possible (security deposit, broker's fee)?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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