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HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

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HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

Postby KaiZen2010 » Tue Feb 25, 2003 6:09 pm

Hello All,

I have been living in a one-bedroom basement apartment in a two-family house in the Bronx for the past 3.5 years. I’ve never had any difficulties with the landlady, despite that fact that she and her daughters are intrusive, noisy, and have deplorable manners. I simply pay my rent and limit my contact with them as much as I’m able.

I certainly would greatly appreciate help with learning about what my rights and options are as a tenant with regard to the following situation:

1) Sunday, 02/23/03, 11:30pm, I received a call from my landlady, informing me that the house had been sold and that the new owners want all the tenants to move out by May 2003. This was extremely sudden and it just seemed incredulous to me, as it occurred to me that I had never seen a “For Sale” sign and now, I’m learning that I have exactly two months to locate a new place, pack, save money and then proceed with the move.

The plot thickens. Monday, 02/24/03, I spoke with my upstairs neighbor-friend to corroborate the landlady’s story, and he told me that it was a flat out lie. That the house has not been sold and that, in fact, this was the exact same tactic the landlady had unsuccessfully used a year ago to try to goad another tenant who is still living upstairs to move out.

2) Two weeks ago, I came home and found my apartment, especially the hallway was wreaking with a piercing and foul stench of heating oil. The landlady must’ve noticed that I arrived home because she called me on the phone informing me that heating oil had accidentally spilled into my apartment. Since the landlady has a copy of my apartment key, her daughters had mopped up the spill before I arrived home from work. When I first secured the apartment, I, unfortunately, heeded the instructions of the real estate agent that told me that I needed to give a copy of the apartment key to the landlady. My friend strongly advised that I change my door lock immediately and not give the landlady a copy of the key. However, the stench remained in the hallway and a new pair of brown suede shoes was ruined. Although not as pungent as a week ago, the stench of heating oil still remains in my hallway.

3) I have grown quite suspicious for a long time now that perhaps the landlady is stealing from me, as I think the electricity for the basement and the light outside of my doorway is hooked in to my apartment. The electric bill is somewhat high as compared to people I personally know who have their PC’s, radios, TV, lights, etc., turned on for a considerable length of time on a daily basis. Considering someone like myself who doesn’t own an air conditioner and who doesn’t have a lot of electrical appliances kept on. I mean, I leave my apartment at 6:30am, and usually don’t get home until 8-10pm. I don’t own any major electrical appliances except for a PC and a television. So how can I account for the amount of electric bill that I historically have been paying???

After what has transpired happened recently, I am definitely moving out, but would prefer to so on my terms and certainly not within two months. I would greatly appreciate feedback, specifically a workable plan of action.

Best regards,

Kaizen
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Re: HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

Postby Chimera » Tue Feb 25, 2003 9:58 pm

Since you have not specified that you are living in a rent-stabilized apartment and you have not mentioned having a lease, I am assuming that you are a month-to-month tenant who is in a non-stabilized apartment. Since you do not have a lease, the landlady can ask you to leave whenever she wants, as long as she gives you at least 30 days notice before the end of the month. Ignoring this notice will likely provoke her into bringing a housing court case against you. Having a housing court case on your record will make finding apartments in the future more difficult, since landlords frequently check their future tenants' histories.

<small>[ February 25, 2003, 08:59 PM: Message edited by: Chimera ]</small>
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Re: HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

Postby Lilly » Wed Feb 26, 2003 3:42 am

Your LL must serve you with a 30-day notice to terminate month-to-month tenancy. The Notice must be served in the same manner as a summons and complaint, ie, 1) certified mail, return receipt, or 2) by personal service and 3) by regular mail, or by affixing it to your apartment door(along with 1). If you pay rent on a calender basis, ie pay rent on the first of the month, then the notice should be received on the last day of the month to be effective 30 days hence, ie last day of Feb to be effective on the 30 th of March. LL must put this in writing. telling you that she wants you out is a heads-up, but not legal. See the front page here at tenant.net and scroll down torards the bottom and find Illegal Evictions and Police Procedure.
Other than that, your apartment may be an illegal basement apartment and the oil spill warrants a call to the DEP (Dept of Environmental Protection)
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Re: HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

Postby mjr203 » Wed Feb 26, 2003 9:51 am

you should call ConEd if you think your electric situation is less that kosher.

you posted this is the rent stabilized section of the board too. Is this apt rent stabilized? If so, any sale of the building doesn't mean diddlesquat to your status as long as you have a lease.

If you are non-stabilized you shouldn't have posted in the other forum.
most Landlords suck it.
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Re: HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

Postby KaiZen2010 » Wed Feb 26, 2003 12:47 pm

Thanks for the responses.

Pointerout - Sorry for the confusion. To clarify, as it was my first post, I mistakenly and inadvertently posted my message in the rent stabilized section of the board. The apartment is a NON-stabilized apartment. I'm going to be calling Con Ed today to make inquiries.

Chimera - Upon my request, the landlady gave me a lease the first year I moved into the apartment 3.5 years ago, adding that she doesn't do the "lease thing." So yes, I must be a month-to-month tenant.

Lilly - Last night I learned from a real estate buddy of mine that most basement apartments are illegal. I will follow your recommendations and retrieve the Illegal Evictions Procedure and contact the DEP for more info.

Best,

KaiZen
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Re: HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

Postby mjr203 » Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:48 pm

whether or not the basement apartment is illegal is certainly relevant. YOu can't collect rent for an apartment without a C of O (cert of occupancy).

If it is a legal apt and non-regulated, then she can evict you with 30 days notice. Someone earlier in the thread spoke about the means whereby she can do that. It must be in writing.

Frankly, if she's told you by "May" she is giving you more than the required notice, and if the apartment is legal non-regulated she does not need to give an reason.

-POINTER

<small>[ February 26, 2003, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: pointerout ]</small>
most Landlords suck it.
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Re: HELP! Being Forced To Move Out - What're My Options?

Postby KaiZen2010 » Thu Feb 27, 2003 10:30 am

Thanks everyone for your informative and helpful replies.

The purpose of my post was to learn about what my tenant's rights are so that I would be informed and be in a better position to defend myself from shady practices and lies. Perhaps I need to contact an agency that specializes in these types of matters because I am learning more and more from my neighbors upstairs that the landlady may be the original "Slim Shady."

I don't know if it'll be worth my while to find out if the apartment is c.o. (according to my real estate buddy, and some other folks I've spoken to in the last couple of days, most basement apartments in private houses are illegal) and "churn it up." My intent is to find an affordable, suitable place to live in a relatively short amount of time and in the process, not deal with any harrassment b*llshit from the landlady. She was highly upset that I called the D.E.P. yesterday regarding the heating oil spill that occurred in my apartment a couple of weeks ago, and called me at 11:30pm last night to let me know about it.

Thx again.

Be well,

KaiZen
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