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What can I do defend myself in this situation?

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What can I do defend myself in this situation?

Postby 8millionstronk » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:53 pm

My landlords are purposely shutting off my power every weekday whenever they believe I'm not there, but I work on different schedules, I never receive any warnings until the power is abruptly turned off.


Here's the catch,
I went to court and sued the old Landlord, during that time he sold the house and then disappeared and left the country.

The new landlord took over but never talked to me or any of the other tenants, rent was refused, and we were issued a 30 day notice, and then taken to court.

From then on the landlord agree not to take any rent due, "which really isn't helpful considering the things that I lost due to both landlords negligence cost more than the amount of rent not paid"

For not asking us to pay for the back rent which the landlord refused to accept in the first place, we settled and came to an agreement and were given an entire month to move out.

Back rent owned is worth 4 month since the landlords refuse to accept the rent ever since they took over "these 4 months include the final month," but it's technically 3, given that they also refused to give us back our deposit.

Since we settled and they let us stay for one extra month, Am I a still tenant technically? Can the landlord shut my power at will without asking? Is there anything I can do?

What's frustrating here, is how a lot of damage was done to my property and I wasn't planing on staying past the end of this month, but I'm dependent on the power I'm paying for the time being and the constant interruption is making it difficult for me. When power is out, I can't access my website, certain emails, or water in order to prepare for work; and the food in my fridge also goes bad.
8millionstronk
 
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Re: What can I do defend myself in this situation?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:19 pm

You don't say on some of these things, but... (please answer these questions)

Are you rent stab?
Is there a chance you might actually be RS (despite what the LL says)
Have you obtained a DHCR rent history?
How many units in the building? How old is the building?
Do you have a lease? Is it a RS lease or free-market unregulated lease?

On the power outage:
Has the LL filed with DOB for any electrical work?
Is there a pattern to the outage?
Have you called the police? What was their response?
Have you filed a complaint with 311. (file with DOB, HPD and Con Ed)
Do you have an attorney - what about filing a HP or other case on the power outage?
This sounds like it's an attempt to clear out the building.

On the rent:
Can you prove you mailed the rent (certified mail?)

Are there other tenants where this is happening?
Have you formed a tenant association, and if not, why not?

On moving out:
Is this a court agreement/stipulation?
Did you have an attorney to advise you on this?
If not, you might be able to get the court to reverse any such stip.
FYI, 4 months of back rent forgiven is a joke. You need a lawyer.

If you are still there - no matter what any agreement says, it's illegal and harassment for the LL to shut off the power.

Document everything as to damages, everything you just cited.
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Re: What can I do defend myself in this situation?

Postby 8millionstronk » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:10 pm

TenantNet wrote:Y
Are you rent stab?

No, just a 3 family apartment building

TenantNet wrote:Do you have a lease? Is it a RS lease or free-market unregulated lease?


The leased expired after the house was sold.

TenantNet wrote:On the power outage:
Has the LL filed with DOB for any electrical work?
Is there a pattern to the outage?

There are no electrical permits given by the city on this house for any electrical work.

TenantNet wrote:Have you called the police? What was their response?
Have you filed a complaint with 311. (file with DOB, HPD and Con Ed)

I have not called the police as I don't think such an excessive asset is required for a situation like this one and I'm truly trying to leave this place, but on the other hand I have filled a complaint with 311 so they could at least inform the landlords of the current situation and convince them to stop with the harassment.

TenantNet wrote:This sounds like it's an attempt to clear out the building.


It certainly is,

TenantNet wrote:On the rent:
Can you prove you mailed the rent (certified mail?)


The rent was flat out refused by the previous landlord, the new landlords bought the house and never communicated with us once, even when they took us to court.

TenantNet wrote:Are there other tenants where this is happening?

There's one other tenant, but his utilities are never purposely turned off, although he does have to deal with issues that were neglected by the previous landlord for years, and even the current ones.

TenantNet wrote:On moving out:
Is this a court agreement/stipulation?
Did you have an attorney to advise you on this?
If not, you might be able to get the court to reverse any such stip.
FYI, 4 months of back rent forgiven is a joke. You need a lawyer.

It is a court agreement, given the current situation, "see my bedbug thread," we decided to not stay in the apartment as the bedbug problem is becoming worse and worse, the previous landlord neglected us, and the new ones did the same, so we felt that it wasn't worth it at this point and decided to give up on the place to move out.
At the cost of compromising our security deposit, they'd not charge us back rent and would let us stay for 1 extra month. We took the extra month because we felt it was enough time to delicately go through our belongings and dispose them in a proper manner so we wouldn't be moving with bedbugs.
I on the other hand will be throwing 95% of belonging away, and will be leaving with just clothes after washing and drying them.

TenantNet wrote:If you are still there - no matter what any agreement says, it's illegal and harassment for the LL to shut off the power.

Document everything as to damages, everything you just cited.


It's pretty frustrating to be honest, I'm just looking for a peace of mind on my final month here, but instead it seems like we're just being harassed into leaving at an earlier date than what's on the agreement.

Now there are also water outages, and rumors going around that the landlord might be purposely contaminating our water out of spite.


This makes me worry for future non rent regulated tenants in this city as they can be at the mercy of such systems where a landlord can just sell the house once repairs become too much of a problem, and the new landlord can just ignore these repairs and push the tenants out. A system that has limited liability will just encourage more slumlords.
8millionstronk
 
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Re: What can I do defend myself in this situation?

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:45 pm

On your lease, on its expiration when the LL accepted your rent, you became a month-to-month tenant where the "lease" gets automatically renewed every month. There are procedures the LL would have to take to terminated the M2M lease.

On the permits, is it just because there are no permits posted, or did you check with the DOB website? Owners must not only file for and receive permits, the must be visibly posted on the premises.

For most situations, you would file a complaint with 311, but in some cases - like when your power goes out, it makes perfect sense to call the police. This is harassment; it's not a one-time accident.

Refusal to accept rent (i.e., "tendered and refused") is a defense if the LL takes you to court on either a holdover or non-payment. Document your attempt to pay the rent and the refusal. Is he just not cashing a check, or is he mailing it back to you? Keep all envelopes (for postmarks) and make payments using certified mail RRR.

For the checks or money orders, keep those safe. Do not cash them or void the check. Make sure you have the money in your bank account. Too many tenants spend the money and don't have it when a cases is decided.

On bedbugs, from personal experience I know that as bad as they are, you should not have to throw away most of what you have. Clothes and bed linens can be washed in hot water and that will kill them Some things can be put in a freezer for a few days and that will also kill them.

For other items, I would wrap them in plastic and let them sit somewhere for a year or so. Bedbugs can live 10-12 months, but they will eventually die if starved of blood. There are some online solutions that actually work, i.e., devices using dry ice that attracts them. Of course a lot depends on how large the infestation is and how far it has spread through the apartment.

Given the nature of your court agreement, their refusal to accept rent might be their way of not allowing the acceptance of rent to be deemed the creation of a new LL/T relationship.
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