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Reassign Lease/ Sublet/ Break Lease - Absent Landlord -

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Reassign Lease/ Sublet/ Break Lease - Absent Landlord -

Postby getmeoutofhere » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:12 am

I have been trying to reassign/ sublet my apartment. My landlord is unreachable. I have called him almost every day for a month with no response. My super cannot contact him, nor can the real estate agent (though I believe the agent is lying).

I wanted to sublet/ reassign my lease. I had someone ready to do so but lost the opportunity because I was unable to clear it with my landlord.

When I spoke to the real estate agent, he told me that he would be able to help me reassign the lease or sublet, but only if the reassignee or sublettor paid a broker's fee of one month rent.

Somewhere during the process of this, my apartment was broken into. My window frame was broken. The landlord was called by myself and my super several times, and could not be reached to repair the window. The super nailed my window shut, which is my only means of escape in a fire. The window was left broken and open for a week before this, and it has now been nailed shut for a week. Still no contact with landlord.

Other problems in the apartment include unfixed plumbing and a commercial type toilet in the bathroom (the kind with the kick flusher). When my neighbors shower, I get burned in my own shower.

Are all of these reasons sufficient reason to break the lease legally? I want out immediately. I would be happy to find a lease reasignee, but the agent wants a broker's fee, and the landlord is unreachable.

I am currently withholding my rent with hopes that my landlord will contact me, but from what I am reading, this seems to be a bad idea.

Please help!!

Thanks
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Postby Emeraldstar » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:41 am

Hi All
Call the FDNY to get them to see the nailed window and I bet they will get the LL's attention.
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Postby concord » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:44 am

I don’t know if poor services are grounds for breaking a lease.

It may be your obligation to make a reasonable attempt to resolve the problems. And furthermore you may be obligated to give the LL a reasonable amount of time to resolve the problems before breaking a lease.

You won’t get anything accomplished however without documenting these problems and relaying them to your LL via a traceable manner.

You need to send the LL, or his authorized representative, a certified letter documenting these unresolved problems that have not been addressed. You should state for how long these conditions have existed and which actions you have taken to try to get resolution.

Regardless of which path this quest leads you down you will need this documentation as a starting point in any legal proceeding.

Withholding the rent? I’m not sure that doing so has a significantly negative impact upon you if you can prove that the LL has not been addressing problems with the apartment, and also that, he is refusing to communicate with you. Perhaps other here have more insight respectively.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:09 pm

Hi All
I'm agreeing with concord that at some point with holding rent may be prudent. But keep it on the back burner for now. You really have to send a RRR list of needed repairs to the LL more than once provided he does not respond. It shows your efforts & their ignoring. Pattern is the purpose.
I would handle the nailed window first though. An idot that can nail an egress means shut & LL that leaves it is capable of anything. Your safety is priority. Call 311 & explain what was done & length of time left stating you need a FD inspection to enforce egress. When the dust settles on that just make sure you have copies of any documents concerning the inspection.
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Postby ronin » Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:04 am

A busted window in winter and a blocked fire exit would constitute a constructive eviction- look it up. And as I recall you can leave without consequence after having been constructively evicted.

(but first you have to follow concord's advice about giving sufficient notice, etc. Look it up in the resources area of tenant.net.
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