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LL Entry and Construction without notice

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LL Entry and Construction without notice

Postby chalupa » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:45 pm

Hi. I live in NYC on the second story of a two family home and the LL lives on the first story. The LL has repeatedly entered the apt without notifying me. On one occasion I only knew she had entered because she accidentally took a key from my apt. I asked if she had seen my missing key and she said she was in the apt earlier. On a second occasion, I returned home from a day trip and my front door was wide open, her keys were left in the door, the place was a mess from drywall work and my 8' ladder was missing. When I confronted her she said she didnt need to give me notice because the work is ongoing and her workers had borrowed the ladder.
Sometimes she just knocks on the door and says she needs access in ten minutes. I have told her multiple times she needs to notify me in writing of entry, but she refuses. I am sick of living with this crazy lady and I want to move right away. Do I have a good argument to break the lease (which has 1.5 yrs left)? From my view, the LL broke the lease repeatedly by not properly notifying me of entry and misusing my property without my permission. But I am worried about being sued. I have all entry events well documented. Thank you for the advice!
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:11 pm

First, look at the LL access rules in the forum's Reference section. Then you can change the locks. You can also call the police for any unauthorized entry. But be aware that the NYPD is famous for ignoring tenant laws, saying it's a "civil matter" when in some instances it's not.

I would say yes, you have a basis for breaking the lease, but be forewarned, the LL might take you to court seeking rent for the remainder of the lease.
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Postby 10ants » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:38 am

This happened to me a lot. I told my LL that he needed to give notice, etc., and he eventually got the right idea.

Try not to get too upset about it -- small landlords tend to view you as living in 'their' house for a while.
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:02 am

Then they need to be educated. Small LLs have the same obligations as large LLs.

LLs often play a shell game .... showing up unannounced or with very little notice and expect the tenant to rearrange their entire life (bad) or (worse) hand over keys to workers they do not know, or supers they know only too well.

The flip side is when you have a written notice, with sufficient time beforehand, LLs some times don't show up at all. I've even seen a LL claim they did not have to obey a court-ordered stipulation (with a date set for access and repairs) because - they claim - the date was arranged by their lawyer, and not them.

You educate these LLs by sticking to the advance notice required by the Housing Maintenance Code, one week for repairs. If they insist on telling you an access date, it is the tenant's option to replay and tell the LL that their date is not good, and offer alternative dates. And if offering alternative dates, make sure it is conditional on the LL's agreeing to it in writing by a certain date and time.
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