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is this illegal? what should i do?

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is this illegal? what should i do?

Postby newyorkerbritney » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:07 pm

We are living in a 4 bedroom apartment in a 2 family home. upstairs is another 2 bedroom apartment. our landlord told us in our lease that we were required to pay for all our own utilities... no problem right? well recently we found out that the whole house only has one meter. so essentially we have been paying both sides of the utilities. when we asked her about this she denied that anyone even was living upstairs, but we know there is people because we see them getting their mail and going in and out and hear their footsteps at night. so after that we started deducting half of our cost of utitilies from the rent we've been paying her. in the past month or two we have caught her sneaking into the apartment late at night while we are asleep or when she thinks we are not here. we really want to move out but we don't know if we would be able to break the lease based on these terms. is this illegal? what should we do?
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Re: is this illegal? what should i do?

Postby Emeraldstar » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:42 pm

If you mean she is sneaking into your apt. install a nanny cam and catch her in the act. If caught then you have something and change the locks. You can replace orginals when you move. I would think she would not want to persue furthur. Although others may have furthur to share? As for electric you seemed to have it under control but you can call Con Ed and get an inspection. A friend had the same situation and the LL was ordered to change to two meters as well as my friend obtaining money back based on some formula of Con Ed. Of course the LL did not want my friend to renew the lease so she moved.
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Re: is this illegal? what should i do?

Postby Downtown » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:03 am

You might want to go on www.nyc.gov and check under building dept., what is the legal use of your building (1 or 2 apts.). If this is legally a 2 family house, would contact Con Ed and ask for an inspection. Don't know how long you paid the entire cost...but would also inform LL that you are owed $___ for the previous months. [Con Ed will only split the meters if this is a legal 2 family.]
Definitely change at least 1 lock. Wait for LL to say something...then reply, I wasn't informed that you needed access, for what.
Locks and pursuing utilities will probably make LL open to breaking the lease.
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