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Breaking a lease on an illegal apartment

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Breaking a lease on an illegal apartment

Postby joey1234 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:02 pm

I moved into an apartment in May, and its illegal.. Located on Long island in Suffolk county. The landlord does not live here, i rent one floor and another tenant rents the other.

I want to move out, i hate the landlord we dont get along, The tenant upstairs from me is rude and I have had several problems with the apartment that remain a problem and the landlord does not want to fix them one of the problems is a heat issue..

Instead of going through the trouble of trying to reason with the landlord, or any thing. I wanted to know what options I have with my lease, Being that it is an illegal dwelling, is the lease binding???? it says I need to give him 60 days notice to move out, i would like to give him 30 days. becasue if I find another rental, most likely they arent going to wait 60 days for me to move in.. and I cant really afford to pay rtent on 2 apartments for 1 month..

My aunt is a realtor and said the lease would mean nothing if he was to sue me.. since he is collecting the money illegally anyway.....

Thanks for all responses!!
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:11 pm

What are the details on why it is an illegal apartment? How much time do you have in the lease?
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Postby joey1234 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:20 pm

The lease end in May 2010. Apartment is illegal becasue it is a single family home converted into 2 seperate apartments, with 1 electric meter, 2 full kitchens, all utilities are in the landlords name.
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:31 pm

But that doesn't explain why it's illegal. Does the zoning not permit multi-family homes? Does Suffolk Co. require something like the NYC Certificate of Occupancy? Does something require meters to be separate? Any or all of those things might be violations, but might not necessarily make the unit "illegal."
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Postby joey1234 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:46 pm

As far as my understanding goes, and I could be wrong, any house on long island that is zoned as a single family residence, and has 2 stoves, and only 1 electric meter is considered an illegal apartment. Anyone on long island will tell you that it is illegal, also my landlord is scared of the neighbors reporting him, so we are not allowed to park in front of certain neighbors houses........ its illegal... and he knows it... ive mentioned it to him several times and he dances around it...

Could I be wrong ? absolutely - BUT my question isnt if the apartment is illegal, but if a lease is binding on an illegal apartment??
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Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:05 pm

"Anyone on long island will tell you that it is illegal"

Do the research. Look up the zoning. Consult with the county agency that covers buildings and/or housing.

2 stoves? What about orthodox Jewish families that need two stoves (some apartment buildings in NYC come with two stoves, two elevators and so on). 2 stoves might be an indicator, but in itself might not be the issue of two families.

If it's illegal, that might create jurisdictional issues if the LL wanted to go to court.
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