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Certified Mail... Refused

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Certified Mail... Refused

Postby hirschma » Sat May 11, 2002 7:04 pm

I've been attempting to "officially" let my landlord know of problems in the building. I sent a first letter stapled to the rent check, so she wouldn't feel threatened. That's when I believed that she'd actually be cooperative.

Nothing happened; I followed up with a certified letter + return receipt. Apparently, she refused to sign for it. The funny thing is that her lease spells out certified mail as the only "valid" way of communicating with her.

Any suggestions on what to do next? If she refuses this type of communications, the only type that would be valid for court purposes, what is there to do? Do I need to get tricky, and send something Fedex with a fake return address?

Lastly: if she's refusing certified mail, the only "valid" type according to her lease, is she violating any laws?


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Re: Certified Mail... Refused

Postby Lilly » Sat May 11, 2002 9:10 pm

save your certified mailing receipt. Send it again. Also send it: by certified mail without return receipt, and by certificate of mailing.
Send it also by fax. Then start calling HPD and telling them about the conditions.A neat trick is to send a package, with the letter inside, by UPS.
She'll think it's a present and hopefully sign for it. Even tho certified mail is specified, the weight of all the alternative methods of mailings as well as the fax I think would suffice for legal purposes.
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Re: Certified Mail... Refused

Postby hirschma » Sat May 11, 2002 10:03 pm

Some good suggestions, thanks. I still wonder: isn't the landlord bound by law to receive communications?
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Re: Certified Mail... Refused

Postby consigliere » Sun May 12, 2002 5:03 am

The landlord is deemed to have knowledge of the contents of your letter, after refusing the certified mail.

I wouldn't spend another penny trying to communicate directly with the landlord. (In addition to stapling the letter to your rent check, you could have referred to the enclosed letter on the memo line of the check and in the endorsement area on the back of the check.)

You should now phone HPD's Central Complaints number to report the violations. HPD will send the landlord a copy of your complaint. That will give the landlord actual notice, in addition to the deemed notice of your certified mail.

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Re: Certified Mail... Refused

Postby Cranky Tenant » Sun May 12, 2002 5:46 am

Keep copies of all of your letters. If you decide to file with DHCR they only require you to show that you attempted to notify the LL, and the dates. If the LL doesn;t respond, and make the repairs, you're entitled to file a complaint.

Regardless of your lease, Certified mail isn't required by law. You certainly wouldn't mail a certified letter in an emergency. Even so, it's better to have documentation and receipts for any communications with your LL.
I'm a cranky tenant NOT a cranky lawyer.
Cranky Tenant
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Re: Certified Mail... Refused

Postby Brooklyn Babe » Sun May 12, 2002 11:13 pm

As stated in previous posts, keep the returned "refuse to accept" mail. I suggest you send it 1 more time, but use a "certificate of mailing" instead -it costs about $.75 and it gives you (via postal stamping) proof that you mailed it. Kings (Brooklyn) County Housing Crt. accepts cert. of mailing as suffucient proof of service on a LL from a tenant. They no longer require certified mail, as many LL's just refuse to accept it. Also, regardless of your lease clause, as long as you can present some sort of proof of mailing you are in the clear. Most leases have that stupid clause, but it is open to interpretation. Courts are looking for reasonable communication.
Best of Luck!
The above information is from a non-attorney tenant activist and is not considered or to be used as legal advice.
Brooklyn Babe
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Re: Certified Mail... Refused

Postby hirschma » Mon May 13, 2002 7:00 am

Thanks to everyone here for great advice and information!

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