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Illegal divider added by owner prior to our move-in, now

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Illegal divider added by owner prior to our move-in, now

Postby asdf1234 » Mon May 08, 2006 11:42 am

When we leased our apartment (less than a year ago), there was already a temporary wall in place, creating a second bedroom by dividing the living room in half.

Someone (we think a neighbor) complained, and a city inspector came in, said that the apartment was not listed as a two-bedroom, and left a "work without a permit" violation.

The landlord has scheduled for the wall to be taken down tomorrow. We assume that they are taking down the wall instead of paying the fine for applying for a work permit retroactively.

We need an apartment with two bedrooms. Can we force the building manager to rebuild the wall or pay for it to remain, because they rented us the apartment as a two-bedroom? If not, do they have to help with moving costs?

The landlord also said that the building manager has been charging us at a higher rate than others with identical apartments because our apartment has this partition.

I assume that we will be released from our lease agreement, However, can we ask for compensation for all of our "moving fees" (brokers fee, cost of moving trucks, etc.) Also, we were told that it is illegal for the building manager to charge us higher rent (the apartment is not rent-stabilized). Do they have to pay us back for the moths that we paid higher rent?
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Re: Illegal divider added by owner prior to our move-in, now

Postby TenantNet » Mon May 08, 2006 12:58 pm

Making it legal is one thing. that might entail changing the C of O.

But you need two egresses and this might cut-off access to a fire escape. There was a big discussion on this a month or two ago. Search for 'fire.' Illegal walls might create death traps.

As to your legal recourse if the LL misrepresented the place, you might have a case.
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Re: Illegal divider added by owner prior to our move-in, now

Postby HardKnocks » Mon May 08, 2006 2:53 pm

What was the reasoning given for it being "illegal for the building manager to charge [you] higher rent" in an unregulated building? Is it because the landlord didn't know the building manager was charging you more, and had been pocketing the difference? I just can't quite figure out how you have a lease, yet the building manager is setting your rent, unbeknownst to the landlord.
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