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PSYCHO LANDLORD

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PSYCHO LANDLORD

Postby Railroad Chris » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:37 pm

Hi everyone,
I am writing because I could really use some advice and have been emotionally distraught by an incident that happened to me January 31, 2021.

I'm going to sum this up as quick as possible and digestible.

Let's start it off here, I'm in a railroad apartment since October 15, 2020, love it, back yard love it. We have access.

Landlord said we could get a small portable chiminea to have fires in and hang out with in the backyard as long as I can pick it up and place it in the basement. It's 13 pounds so thats doable.

I find one on Amazon for 83 dollars. Nice.

Use it once. Have a good time.
Clean up the best I can, some soot is still frozen to the pavement in the backyard but right now theres snow so can't go sweep it off.

The next day, landlord SCREAMS and YELLS at me and my girlfriend over the phone on speaker, makes my phone shake on the table thats how intense it was. My Dad never yelled at me that bad.

SCREAMS and YELLS "I have video footage of you lighting a FUCKING FIRE!?"
I'm like "Ya man, you said we could."

"I NEVER FUCKING SAID YOU COULD LIGHT A FUCKING FIRE IN MY FUCKING BACKYARD AND FUCK UP MY BACKYARD!"

This intense banter goes for a minute or 2, he threatens to call authorities and then just hangs up.

Pretty damn stressful. I have a mild panic attack, ruins my Sunday for sure and poisons my mind for the next couple weeks to today as I write this.

Shortly after he takes my chiminea out of the basement, I'd like it back to sell it or use it at a different apartment.

I really cannot talk to this guy. He's dangerous, he lost all my trust that day. If you only heard the demeanor and words that came out of that phone, you'd get it.

What should I do? What would you do? I'd like to get a lawyer, but it's a bit extreme I think.
He's also a lawyer and landlord so that's a little bit intimidating, but I know my rights as a tenant.

Any advice friends, I'm in Ridgewood, love the neighborhood.
Thanks
Last edited by Railroad Chris on Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PSYCHO LANDLORD

Postby TenantNet » Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:29 pm

Ridgewood QU or NJ? Are you rent regulated? We're not mind readers. Does the LL live in the building? Is use of the rear yard specified in your lease?

Next time get permission in writing. I'd write him and ask for it back. You got it on Amazon, so you would have proof of purchase.

Also look at local fire regulations.

And BTW, never put your real name on a public forum.
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Re: PSYCHO LANDLORD

Postby Railroad Chris » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:17 pm

Thanks TenantNet. Good advice. Ridgewood Queens . Rent regulated? I'm not sure, should've asked.
Looked it up, open flames are strictly prohibited in NYC.
Landlord does not live in the building.
Rear yard usage is definitely allowed. But he locked it either because of snow or because of my flame situation.
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Re: PSYCHO LANDLORD

Postby TenantNet » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:05 am

On rent regulated, how many units in the building? RS is for buildings with 6 or more units (unless the place was modified by combining or splitting units). So at any time, if the number of units was 6 or more, then it should be RS as long as it meets other qualifications.

If building is 3+ units, then it must be registered with HPD (not the same as RS and DHCR). See https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/services- ... perty.page

If RS, then it should be on the lease (many LLs violate this). Also you mention you put it in the basement. Was this in an area designated for tenant storage? If not, LL could claim it was abandoned, but if only a few days, that would be BS. As you state, the LL made no such claim and don't give him ideas.

I can't be certain, but I think the open flame restriction is for places like the roof or fire escape, and not necessarily far away in the back yard (how far is far away - I don't know). OTOH, it might apply to anywhere on the lot.

However, from what you describe, that's not the issue here.

When you say rear yard usage is allowed, how do you know? Is it in your lease? Are there posted notices? Do other tenants also have access?

Blocking access to the rear year might violate the requirement for means of egress (to the street). If so call 311.

But before you do anything, I would give it a few days for the LLs temper to die down. Try approaching him when things are calmer.
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Re: PSYCHO LANDLORD

Postby Railroad Chris » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:57 am

4 units in a railroad building. 2 on each floor, basement with laundry. We have common space in the basement and he literally told me to be able to put it in the basement. There's chairs there for all the tenants to use in the backyard.
The backyard is for everyone, swinging chairs, a BBQ, space for tenants to have a garden also.

I can try to approach him, it's been roughly 20 days. The guy is just day and night. He was the calmest most hospitable person at the beginning when we moved in, now he's simply the angriest person I've ever been associated with. Very bizarre. Maybe he was drunk or off or on medication.
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Re: PSYCHO LANDLORD

Postby TenantNet » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:23 pm

4 units means it's not subject to rent regulation except if at some point in the past it had 6 units and some were combined to make a smaller number of units. You'd have to research that with the DOB.

"he literally told me to be able to put it in the basement" what does that mean? Is the common space state in the lease or other documents? Common space is not generally seen as storage space. But something left for a few days is, in our opinion, not abandoned for purposes of the LL to grab. But unless secure, anyone could grab it.

For the backyard and common space, best to start documenting that. Take many photos of tenants using the space. Check the Dept. of Buildings and Certificate of Occupancy (if any). In my building we dug up the original building plans to show tenant storage space.

But as I said, while you document things quietly, wait a few days to see if the LL calms down. 20 days should be enough time, but check the temperature (of his temper) before bringing the issue up. If he's had the thing for 20 days and you haven't asked for it, he may consider it abandoned. Sooner than later.
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