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Landlord calls FDNY on us

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

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Landlord calls FDNY on us

Postby brooklynstabilized » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:25 am

Hi Guys,

So if you’ve followed most of my threads on here, you can see that our Landlord and his wife have been harassing us since we formed a Tenant Association, and filed complaints with Housing. Just yesterday at 10:45 pm, The Landlord and his wife called the FDNY, and told them they smelled smoke in our apartment. They’ve been falsely accusing us of smoking in the apartment for a while even though my Mom quit smoking a long time ago due to being diagnosed with COPD. There is also nothing on our lease that says No Smoking. They’re trying to get us on a nuisance charge. Two Fire Trucks came by for this, and of course they didn’t smell smoke, or even any type of cigarette smoke because they told me, and I heard them telling the Landlord in the hallway. To me this is disgusting, and way out of line now. The Fire Fighters could have had really legit, life threatening things that might have popped up while they were responding to this petty harassment by the Landlord. Is there anything that I can do about this? This is getting out of hand now. They’re desperately trying to evict us as well as the other tenants in the building who are all rent stabilized.
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Re: Landlord calls FDNY on us

Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:25 am

In the future - if you haven't already - record the audio and/or video of what the fireman say, either in your own apartment or in the hallway. Do this on your smartphone. The firemen (and maybe the LL) might tell you to stop recording, but you have every right to do so. I saw a case recently where the NYPD tried that and the court said they were wrong. NYS is a one-party consent state, so all you need is your own permission. However, better to do it without them knowing. Keep the phone in a pocket, or get a cheap lavaliere microphone.

In short document everything.

Get a copy of the fire report. In the old days you had to go to the FDNY HQ in BK. Not sure now. Elected officials' offices can probably help.

Of course there is plenty of case law that being rent stab tenants, the LL can't prohibit smoking in your own apartment unless it was in the lease when you took occupancy. Search this forum for cases on that, and have a print-out readily available.

All that is just to cover yourself. Even if you were smoking, you have the legal right to do so.

But in your case, you say you don't smoke and neither does your mother. It's the LL's burden to show otherwise.

Has your tenant assoc. consulted with an attorney? A good tenant lawyer would know how to send a threatening letter to the LL and/or the LL's lawyer threatening them with complaints of harassment should they continue in this manner.

I would do that as the first step.
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