TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others

Notice To Cure from Harassing Landlord

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

Moderator: TenantNet

Notice To Cure from Harassing Landlord

Postby brooklynstabilized » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:39 am

Long story short. My building formed a Tenant Association, and filed complaints with Housing in order to get the Landlord to make repairs in our apartments. We held our rent, and had a Lawyer from Brooklyn Legal Services help us out. The lawyer informed us to be cordial to the Landlord, and his wife which we were.

This was about a year and a half ago. The Landlord and his wife started out doing little petty things that weren’t legally harassment, but they were purposely trying to make the Tenants lives difficult. That’s fine. They then started e-mailing us saying that there is now a no smoking policy, and that smoke was “permeating” from our apartment into the hallway, and all the way up to their apartment which is on the 2nd floor which is impossible because 1. My Mom quit smoking a while back and 2. The Landlord has lived in that unit for close to 10 years and never once complained back when my Mom was a heavy smoker.

I informed them multiple times that my Mom no longer smokes due to being diagnosed with COPD. There is also nothing on our lease that says no smoking which is why they’re using the words nuisance and uninhabitable in the e-mails they’ve sent. They even hung air monitoring devices next to only our apartment, not the other apartments in the building.

They’ve emailed us accusing us of smoking, smoking marijuana, making noise, having “Fire Hazards” in the apartment, but won’t tell us what that entails. My Mom has lived there for 45 years and the old Landlord never complained once, and no Tenants every complained against us. The last straw was when his wife who is listed as Managing Agent went outside after I did and waited on the front stoop for me to come back for literally over 30 minutes to say “Yeah nice night for a late night walk”, which I ignored because we’re obviously not on speaking terms. As I opened the door she then says “Yeah and you’ll be back out again at midnight”. She’s basically telling me that she’s watching my comings and goings on camera.

Now the other day they emailed us for about the 3rd or 4th time, and said they sent multiple notices to us about smoking, and they continue to smell smoke coming from our apartment, and that “various tenants” also complained which is 100% false because the current Tenants are in the same Tenant Association, and don’t like the Landlord or his wife. They gave us 10 days to cure. They basically waited a while in order to retaliate against us, and try to evict us because we filed complaints to housing, and also because we pay very little rent due to being rent stabilized. Do we have any options to combat this harassment and false allegations? Our lawyer basically told us to ignore the emails. I forwarded him the most recent email 3 days ago, and he hasn’t gotten back to us. Please advise. Thanks so much.

P.S. Sorry for the long winded e-mail, but this is extremely annoying, and frustrating.
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:58 pm

Re: Notice To Cure from Harassing Landlord

Postby TenantNet » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:49 pm

"filed complaints with housing..." Which agency? Be specific.

FYI, even with the current attention on harassment, it's still difficult to get anything done on that front.

Setting up a no smoking policy is not harassment, in itself. So they're inventing complaints. Put it in writing to them and deny it. They could be setting you up for a holdover using the word "nuisance."

But even if she did still smoke, if you're in a RS unit, they can't change the policy within your apartment. The tenant still has that right. As for the smoke permeating, well that's hard for them to prove. I would think it's also the LL's job to fix that (if it did exist). Have they offered to make those repairs?

So is all this legally harassment? Hard to say. What does your BK LS atty say? But they would have to prove a lot. Saying "various tenants" proves nothing. Can you get tenants to testify that neither you nor your mother smoke?

I would send a cert. letter RRR to the LL telling them a. no one in your apartment smokes, b) as RS tenants you would have the right to smoke (if anyone did), c) there can be no smoke permeating elsewhere as there is no smoke to begin with, and d) because it does not exist, therefore any such situation is cured.

Yes, you can file harassment complaints, but I honestly don't know if will fix anything. The city and state are great at setting up programs where they have no intention of enforcing anything. The reason for filing such complaints is a) to get them on record, and b) to force the LL to deal with the complaints.

Yes, for the most part ignore the emails. Notices have to be on paper and in some cases have to be properly served on tenants. Was the Notice to Cure on paper?

If the lawyer represents you (as opposed to the TA), he can tell the LL to communicate with him directly, not you. If it's happening to other tenants, he can do the same for them. And, if the LL has a lawyer, then your lawyer can tell the LL to not write/email him, but have their attorney communicate with him.

Yes, it's annoying. Welcome to the world of NYC landlords.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
Posts: 9238
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Return to NYC Rent Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests