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Re: URGENT HELP! Super Harassment (PHONE)

Posted by TenantNet on October 17, 1998 at 21:12:42:

In Reply to: Re: URGENT HELP! Super Harassment (PHONE) posted by Al Gordon on October 09, 1998 at 19:10:09:

: Elena,
: By law, your super is not allowed to yell at you because he is angry about a tenant problem that he is having with you. He must deal with you in a decent manner. If he yells at you (or threatens or is violent) about a housing problem he can be found guilty of harrasment. This carries a fine in the thousands of dollars for the landlord, but you could have a tremendously difficult time proving in a courtroom that it occured. Nonetheless, if your super or landlord or anybody affiliated with them ever yells at you and scares you again, call the police so that they can protect you. By the way, it is illegal for your super to demand money from you so that he gets you another apartment in the building. The only money that the super can demand from you is the rent money ONLY. Also, if the super stops providing services to you (that were provided when you moved in to the building) you are entitled to a RENT REDUCTION. You should write down all the questions that you have on a piece of paper and then call the 'Department of Housing' and ask them all of your questions. They will not pursue your matters for you but they will give you much information that will be helpful. Pick up the phone. OCT 9, 1998.

The super cannot demand rent; the owner can. A rent reduction is if the
unit is rent regulated (although an abatement can occur for non-regulated
units). Not only is harassment difficult to prove, the courts and DHCR refuse
to enforce it -- unless it's the most egregious kind. In my mind this is,
but I've seen worse. This tenant should call the police, make a criminal
complaint and possibly get an order of protection. She should check
with neighbors for witnesses or also to see if others have experienced this
kind of harassment -- could also be sexual harassment depending on the
facts. In this case, it appears he's demainding illegal key money -- also
illegal. In addition to the above, she should write to the landlord and
put the complaint in writing and on notice that any such super behavior
is ultimately the landlord's responsibility and the landlord may be also
liable. Best to get neighbors to support the story as LL often try to
claim the tenant is a problem. Get the ducks in order.

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