Posted by Edward on February 08, 2002 at 21:14:27:
In Reply to: Affected by WTC stuff: any options open to get out of the lease? posted by Roman on February 08, 2002 at 17:16:40:
: Hi all, Lilly and Co.
: I rented an appartment in one of the 'nicer' buildings in midtown, paying 2200 for a studio at the peak of the market in November 2000. I was told that the policy of the building was to let people move after a 30 day notice losing the deposit, but the wording on the lease was actually saying that I'm selling my soul to them - how stupid of me not to check. I signed a 2 year lease then.
: I'm working as a contractor for one of the banks on Wall St, and have seen my rates reduced and was out of work for a while due to the recent events. Overall, it's harder to afford the apartment, and realistically the same studio now costs no more than $1700. I started talking to the LL in November, trying to get them to either let me go forfeiting the deposit or lowering my rent. After leading me on for 3 months, during which I spoke to a number of people who I don't think were negotiating in good faith, they basically told me they're not going to do anything. I have paper trail of our communication that shows the conflicting messages they were sending me. Essentially, by the time they were to make a decision on me a lot of other people started calling them with the same questions and they said they're going to enforce a uniform policy to everyone of not negotiating.
: While LL acknowledges that we had a verbal agreement that was different from the wording on the lease, my lawyer friend said that it is not enforceable.
: Basically, I am wondering whether there are any options available to me other then taking it on the chin. Are there relief agencies that can take up my plight with the landlord? Any suggestions would be most welcome. I'm really not happy at this moment and would go out of my way to try to resolve this issue, the LL's smug attitude has gotten to me.
: Thanks a lot!
I'm sorry that the WTC tragedy has affected you the way it has but I believe your lawyer friend is right. Your landlord can promise you the moon but verbal agreements involving real estate are not enforceable in fact any valid real estate transaction MUST be in writing. The landlord has a binging lease with you and although we would like to think he would be more understanding of your situation he is under no legal mandate to renogtiate with you. As for legal agencies try legal aid or something. good luck
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