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A Lawyer Landlord Skirts The Law

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We're back with another Horror Story for our competition that begins tomorrow, Thursday the 15th at 2pm. Polls stay open for twenty-four hours.

I was lucky enough to live in my apartment for 3 whole years with absolutely no problems or no incidents. My landlord was very hands off, as I never had any need to call him. Then, in mid-June of this year, the air conditioning went out. Of course I started the obligatory phone calls to my landlord, asking him to replace it. Turns out it was completely broken and needed a new replacement. It was so hard to get in touch with my landlord because he is a lawyer and has a fleet of assistants whom I was always directed to. Days went by, and then weeks. All I ever heard was that he was "working on it."

July turned out to be the hottest month on record since 1895, with over 20 days (in July alone) over 100 degrees! My apartment was on the third floor of a 3-floor walk up, so needless to say it was freakin hot. My neighbor gave me a thermometer to record the temperatures. My apartment was up to 110 on average days, sometimes 115. At the "coldest" part of the night (2 or 3 AM), it would get down to about 90 degrees. It was miserable. I spoke to many lawyers, the county health department, building inspectors, etc., and they all told me I had a case and that he was definitely breaking my lease, as well as the Tenant/Landlord Act, which, in my state, requires any landlord to provide air conditioning - regardless of whether it's in your lease or not - between the months of May and October. I wanted to sue, but I'm just a poor 20 something year old and can't afford a lawyer at the going rate of $300 an hour.

August rolled around, and I had decided to move out, so I gave my landlord notice that I was going because he wasn't holding up his end of the lease. When I gave my landlord notice in mid-August, he had the balls to tell me that I needed to stay another 60 days from the day I gave notice and pay full rent, but he still wasn't going to replace the air conditioning! UNBELIEVABLE! On top of that, I received a letter in the mail saying the apartment was foreclosing on August 30 and being put up for auction on that day, so he was actually trying to make me stay in an apartment (until mid-October) that he DIDN'T EVEN OWN and making me pay full rent on this place! Talk about a sleazeball!!! I found out from his assistant that the whole time he had never had any plans to replace the air conditioning, because the property could be repossessed without it.

Needless to say, I moved out of that apartment by September 1st and never looked back. And yes, I now have air conditioning at my new apartment, and I am so so grateful for it!