Posted by Anthony Quinones on November 10, 2001 at 11:43:23:
I have been living in a 4 1/2-bedroom residence for the past 10 years for $750 per month. The owner sold the property in 2001 to a preacher who conducts services below my apartment on a weekly basis. I was not given notice or made aware that this transaction had taken place. My relationship has been good with the landlord up until recently. I have paid and continue to pay my rent on time, every month. The new landlord did not give me the option of a lease. He informed me we were welcomed to stay but that he had to make renovations and we couldn’t stay at the apt. We informed him that we trying to find an alternate place. After the relocation was unsuccessful he then informed us that we had to move immediately because he was under pressure from the bank to make certain repairs. We were still unable to find suitable dwellings so he insisted on making repairs to our living room ceiling, roof and replacing all windows while still occupying the apt, we obliged his request. The landlord then decided to switch rent payment dates from the 1st to the 20th and return our $375 deposit by reducing our rent for that month and was still insistent that we move out. We were then approached and asked to pay $900 per month because we had not moved and he was losing $150 per month on a new lease that he had intended to engage. I informed him that I would only pay $800 because I felt that if he was going to renovate the entire apt and then lease it at $900 I should be entitled to the same renovations before absorbing so said cost. There were still many other renovations to be made. At the point he has sought legal representation and I have been served notice to appear in court on 11/16/01 for judgment of $1600. He has denied me access to the basement to the breaker box, I have had no electricity due to a tripped breaker on several occasions, he has also placed a metal containment box over the thermostat to control the heat. There is not heat in the house until the hours of 2am-7am. He said it was set at 72 degrees but the house has no insulation and is about 55-60 degrees depending on how cold it gets outside. A notice that I received from his lawyer prior to the court appointment stated that the premises is a legal (1) family/with store dwelling and is not subject to the rent control nor the rent stabilization law of 1969 and that I am occupying the apt on a month to month basis without a written lease agreement. Can anyone let me know before 11/16/01 if this is a lost cause or regardless of the fact I can challenge this.
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