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Old 12-26-2015, 10:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 1
illegal house / landlord crashed into converted garage!

New York (Queens)

I moved in on 05/01/2015, novice about housing laws, I paid $2000 security deposit and $1500 first month's rent. We signed a one year lease in paper (not sure if the lease is relevant anymore once I found out the home is illegal). I have been paying rent on time each month. I didn't know the place was illegal until recently.

A couple things that make the house illegal is it's the first floor, half of the house is below soil level (technically a basement). The garage is a conversion to a room in which our 6 year old daughter sleeps in. We cannot exit out from any windows as it has bolted in metal bars. But there are two doors to exit (entrance and back of home).

Couple incidents have happened to make my case stronger.

-Around late September, the landlord went on a vacation for over a month. The boiler shut off and gas was constantly running. We had no access to the boiler room as it was locked. It was very dangerous so we had to call 911 to break the door and turn off the gas and also reported to 311. We had no hot water for over a month.

-The landlord is greedy and cheap. Meaning she won't fix the bathroom fan/vent. Oven does not work. 2 of out 4 cooking flames don't work, etc. At one point she even forced us to pay an extra $200 because my mother came to visit for about 2 months.

-On December 23rd, the landlord crashed her car into the garage door. The wall broke in and pushed the bed at least 5 feet. My wife was lying on my daughter's bed (fortunate it's not our daughter). She had minor bruises and her neck was in pain, and still is now. We called 911 and reported to 311 as well.

What's the best way to resolve this situation / what steps should I take? The landlord is not willing to give the $2000 security deposit. I'd like to claim all of my rent and security deposit back. More the better as I would love to see her penalized to the max.

I can get police and 311 reports. I have pictures of the crash incident.

Last edited by dkang88; 12-26-2015 at 10:52 PM.
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