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Help! Can I have lease broken b/c LL entered apt illegal

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Help! Can I have lease broken b/c LL entered apt illegal

Postby angelanov1969 » Tue Sep 24, 2002 12:47 pm

I moved out of my apt end of December. I told landlord I was moving back home to the Midwest (had to move, 9/11 scares, lost job), even though my lease wasn't up until end of July this year. They said they would try to sublet it for me. When the movers came to move me, the last object to move, my main couch, they couldn't get out of the apartment. It's oversized, and long, but obviously the original movers got it INTO the apt. I left for Michigan, after getting assurances from the movers that they would send a "specialist" to the apt the next week, that could take off a couple of legs, or an arm, to get it out of the apt and they would send it at a later time. So anyway, I moved, and the next week, had problems getting in touch with movers (week of xmas), and same thing the following week. Ok, so then its the third week, and I call the landlord (actually asst to main man) and I said that the movers are planning on coming at the end of the week and to allow access to them. This LL's assistant said..um... "well... the super went into your apt, and because he thought you weren't coming back, that you had abandoned the couch, he destroyed it and removed it from the apt"... uh hello?? excuse me?? isn't it illegal to enter my apartment without notification, let alone remove furniture without consulting me? So after screaming, and asking why I wasn't notified or called before assuming I had abandoned it, she apologized but said there was nothing she could do about it. So I assumed at this point that they are so mortified this happened, because they broke the law (entering the premises without permission PLUS destroying my property!), etc, that my rent will be forgiven because they broke the lease agreement.

Anyway, I don't hear from them until early this month, with a letter from a collection agency saying I owe $9700 for back rent. (January through April and then they sublet it to someone else)... ok... never been so pissed off in my life!!! WHAT SHOULD I DO????? Do I need to hire an attorney? How else can I go about this without paying huge legal fees?? I think I should not have to pay the rest of the lease since the landlord broke the lease agreement by entering my apartment and destroying the furniture. What should I do? I have excellent credit, and don’t want to ruin it due to this ugly issue.
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