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My long-lost roommate, psycho super & indiferent LL

Posted by Gina on July 05, 2001 at 12:49:01:

I have several questions - I'll try to be both brief & informative. If anyone has any insights into any of them, it would be most helpful.

In 6/96 I took a lease with another woman in a stabilized apt. in Northern Man. Last summer she decided to go back to the Southwest. She told me to take care of the lease. When I told her she needed to send a notarized letter to the LL her exact response was 'O please; they'll get over it.' I've since lost track of her. Can I have her name removed from the lease (which is current until 6/02)? If her name is still on the lease, will it impact my renewing the lease?

I tried to get some info from the DHRC (should have saved the subway fare). I discovered that only her name was listed with them as a tenant. Is this usual in the case of multiple tenants? Furthermore my name has never appeared on the rent bill - although I have asked 3 Xs in writing for it to be added. Do I have a right to have my name on all documents pertaining to my legal contract with them? If so how can I get them to do it?

The abscence of my name on the rent bill caused the super - an elderly alcoholic - to believe that I was not a legal tenant in my own apartment. I heard him so state on several occassions. Last Jan I received a notice to cure & notice to terminate which essentially stated that I was an illegal subletter in my own apt. The LL's attorney eleceted to drop the charge before the court appearance. However I am now being billed for their legal fees which I have refused to pay because I haven't done anything wrong (unless living in my own legal residence & paying all of the rent is wrong) & there is no judgement against me. I have sent them a letter stating so 3 Xs. Does their action constitute harressment? As they have been totally unresponsive to everything I have politely asked them to do (I did say please) I now think I need to take a more pro-active position.

My problem with the super stems from the fact that he doesn't like the skin tone of some of my friends. Last summer I complained in writing about the super's unacceptable treatment of my non-caucasian friends - he tries to prevent them from entering the building, he gives them the 3rd degree, he follows them up the the apt, he's also said a few way out of line things. This never happens to any of my white friends. I then questioned the lack of diversity in the building. Of the 46 units, there is an elderly hispanic couple & 2 black men who live with their respecitive partners (I don't beleive that either one is a tenant) - everyone else is white. In a neighborhood that is nearly 70% hispanic, in a city that is 25% black & in a building where most of the rents are under $1,000 I find this remarkable. What is the proof of housing discrimination in NY? Does it have to be directed against an individual or can it be circumstantial/imperical?

I have now found a new roommate who's name has been given to the LL. He has had several verbal confrontations with the super & 2 days ago my roommate was physically threatened by the super with a 12" screwdriver (yes, the man is a lunatic). My roommate elected to walk away rather than fight a senior citizen. When he reached the elevator, the super grabbed the door & slammed it shut on my roommate's arm, cutting his elbow & bruising his arm. The injure isn't serious however the intent was definitely violent (& caught on video camera). My roommate didn't call the police because I wasn't home. What is my best recourse here? I'm really tired of this nasty man trying to dictate to me who I can & cannot have visiting or living with me in my apt. (My roommate is gay). I'm also tired of the LL on the one hand ignoring me & on the other harressing me.

Sorry this got a little long. Any advice would be great.

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