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HELP! Where do we go from here??....

Posted by Dayann on July 09, 2001 at 20:56:22:

My husband and I have rented the first floor of a private house on a month to month basis for one year. We paid our rent religiously. Then we had to literally call the landlord every other week due to lack of heat, not enough heat, fumes from the boiler, etc., etc. We finally had enough near the end of the season, this past March, and contacted the City (HPD) to complain. Rather than correct the problem, the landlord sent us a letter expressing his "dismay" at our having filed a complaint against him. Just recently, we sent a letter along with our rent check asking the landlord to install window guards (we are new parents and we're concerned about the safety of our daughter, who is now 4 1/2 months old). After waiting over a week for him to at least call us about our request, we again issued a complaint to HPD yesterday (7/8/01). This afternoon, he handed us a Notice of Termination, telling us we have 30 days in which to move or be evicted.

The commencement of the eviction process is clearly being done in retaliation for having called the City to complain. We know this type of thing is against the law, but we don't know what to do next. Do we file a harassment complaint with the pollce, contact the housing court or the local HPD office? Or do we just go ahead and hold the rent and go ahead with an HP action? OR, do we wait until he hauls us in to an eviction proceeding and then plead our case? We aren't sure which strategy works best or how to best address his NOtice to Terminate. Does anyone out there have a similar experience that we can draw from? Also, we are looking for a tenant advocacy group in Queens. If anyone out there knows of one, we'd appreciate it.

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