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Suing a landlord for bedbugs

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Suing a landlord for bedbugs

Postby 8millionstronk » Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:45 pm

TLDR:
I rented a room in order to help someone out, noticed bedbugs, complained to the landlord, the landlord got exterminators, the bedbugs didn't go away, I complained to the city, the landlord hired the same ineffective exterminators, the bedbugs still didn't go away, I did some digging around on the exterminators and couldn't find their business listed on the NY.gov website for licensed exterminators who are properly trained to deal with pest and chemicals.

I need to move for a new job that I chose in order to leave this bad experience behind, I'm renting a room and my name is not on the lease but the landlord lives here and was told before hand that I'd be living there, so he knew of my presence. The landlord also sold the house for almost 1million dollars and isn't the current landlord. I would like to take the "then" landlord to court in order to get the money to pay for the furniture and equipment that I must throw away, and most important of all; hire some real professionals to deal with this problem. the total cost for what I'm suing him for is less than $5000. At least $1k for my belongings and the rest for treatment for the entire apartment which has carpet all over and makes it extremely hard to get rid of these pests

What I want to know is if I have a chance in court in order to get the landlord to give me money in order to hire the right professionals with a great reputation to deal with this problem. The amount that I'm suing the landlord for is based off the quote given to me by these professional exterminators, and + the price of the futon and portable AC that will have to throw away because they're infested.
I have the quote from the exterminator, and receipt for the futon and AC.

I'm suing for negligence.






I moved in into a room in order to help someone out with their current financial problem by at least helping them by paying 1/2 of their rent while I'd also benefit from it by living there.

I tried to do the right thing, but ended up regretting it when I noticed bedbugs crawling on me while I was on the train. It took me a while to identify the pests as this was first encounter with them. This ruined my social life and forced me to quit my job in order to relocate somewhere else where I can forget this awful experience.

Here's where I'm seeking advice, when I moved in I'd bought in a brand new futon (at least 6 months old) worth $680+tax, and a brand new portable air conditioner (1 month after moving in) worth $300 + tax. Now I need to throw them away because of the infestation.

I noticed the bedbugs after 2 months of staying in the place, the roommate who I'm renting from claimed they never had to deal with this and this was the first time this had happened to them.
I complained to them, and begged them to get the landlord to fix this problem, the landlord got exterminators to come in but it the end the treatment wasn't effective.
The exterminator even forced my roommates to throw away some of their furniture.

Some months afterward, frustrated and exhausted from dealing with these pests, I personally had to make a complaint to the city for this infestation, they came over, inspected, and gave the landlord a letter asking him to fix the problem.

The landlord then again hired the same exterminators, I knew where this was going and I asked them for their business card, I was given one, and then proceeded to do some research on the company. I found nothing official on google which was very fishy given that most businesses today will show up on the search engines' map/website, and when I dug further onto the city's pesticide license site I couldn't not find the company listed on there.

Apparently the company doesn't have a license, and the landlord kept on hiring them to come in and spray whatever chemical they have all over our stuff.

I really don't care about personal damage, and is not looking for a big payout. My problem is since I decided to put this behind me and move somewhere else, I don't want to bring these pests with me, nor am I looking to share my horrible experience with anyone else. No one should have to experience such nasty pests in their life.

What I want to know is if I have a chance in court in order to get the landlord to give me money to hire the right professionals with a great reputation to deal with this problem. The amount that I'm suing the landlord for is based off the quote given to me by these professional exterminators, and + the price of the futon and portable AC that will have to throw away because they're infested.

I have the quote from the exterminator, and receipt for the futon and AC.
I'm suing for negligence.
8millionstronk
 
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Re: Suing a landlord for bedbugs

Postby TenantNet » Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:42 pm

If you didn't read it, why should we? You quote something without any indication of the source. Where did it come from?
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Re: Suing a landlord for bedbugs

Postby 8millionstronk » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:36 pm

TenantNet wrote:If you didn't read it, why should we? You quote something without any indication of the source. Where did it come from?


The TL;DR quote is an attempt at summarizing the version of the follow up post.
It gets straight to the point without the extra minor details.
8millionstronk
 
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Re: Suing a landlord for bedbugs

Postby TenantNet » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:51 pm

So then post the short version, not both as this is just confusing. You made it look as if the quote came from some other thread.

The summary is difficult to understand. You "rented a room" - does that mean a sublet, a roommate, a rooming house, a SRO or what? It's important to know if you are a month-to-month tenant, a licensee or a sublet.

You say the LL lives there. Is that the old LL or the new LL?

Whoever is the current LL, they have the responsibility to correct all bad conditions. That's the person you sue.

You need to a) get a violation placed by the city for the bedbugs, then either withhold rent and be taken to court, or commence a HP Action in Housing Court. You can only do this if you are a named tenant. I doubt a roommate or sublet can do that.

In a non-pay you can counterclaim for damages, but to be honest, I don't know if the court would rule for that.

You can also go to Civil or Supreme Court and sue independently of rent issues. But that gets complicated and potentially expensive.

You might also try Small Claims Court if damages are less than $5,000.

The courts might award for damaged possessions, but not for the cost of bringing in exterminators. That's not damages.

The LL might negotiate with you, or they might not.
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Re: Suing a landlord for bedbugs

Postby 8millionstronk » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:35 pm

Here's the update, I won the case. My advice to anyone is to keep their receipt as if I didn't keep any of the receipt for my furniture and electronics I probably wouldn't had won nothing since I can't prove their value without the receipt.

I'll follow up with a complain with the city against the pretend to be exterminators as I don't want anyone else to be effected by someone else's action.

I've lost way more than what I sued for as I have to throw mostly everything away and move to different state to start all over again, and this includes relationship with family and friends.
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