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subletting tenant forwarding address

Posted by cate goulet on June 06, 2001 at 14:12:14:

Is a landlord required to send a renewal lease to a legal address?

I sublet my apartment for the last two years of a fifteen year tenancy. The landlord claimed he mailed the renewal lease to the apartment -- where I no longer received mail -- even though he had my then-temporary away address. I obviously never received it.

By the same token, is a landlord required to make sure late nnotices are delivered to the tenant on time? I moved out and the landlord deducted from my security deposit five months of back late fees I had hitherto been unaware of because they had been mailed to the apartment -- where I did not receive mail.

He also changed the standard for the late fee without notifying me. In fifteen years of tenancy, it had been the practice of his office to accept mail by the end of the second week or the 10th of the month. He changed that in the last year, apparently to the 5th, hence the 'lateness' and the late fees. Had I known it was the 5th and not the 10th, I'd have made different arrangements.

A few weeks before the end of the lease, I spoke on the phone with this landlord and he promised me to ignore the late fees as long as when I moved out I didn't break anything (as long as he got his hot little apartment back to deregulate! without me insisting on a renewal lease) I would get my entire security deposit returned to me. This was not the case and he deducted the late fees for the months which I was unaware had late fees.

What are the standards for late fee notices? and for subletting tenants forwarding addresses?

NYC rent stabilized, 100 year old brownstone, barely kept standing by minimal landlord -- inadequate electricity (120 amps for building of 10 apartments!), poor plumbing, walls crumbling, etc, but nice people, nice neighborhood, no smell, charming. Very good tenant, improved this and separate rental basement space.

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