Feura Bush, NY asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Can I get deposit and rent back if apartment tested positive for lead and we haven't moved in yet?

Apartment just tested positive for lead, I am pregnant and have a three year old so I told the landlord we could not live there safely and wanted to void the lease. Landlord is not following EPA RRP guidelines to fix it and instead is just going to paint and scrape the windows affected. She will not give us any funds back even though we have not moved in yet due to other issues(having to clean after last tenant, mold in the bathroom). She said we voided lease by saying we wanted to and removing our things(washer and dryer) from the apartment so she owes us nothing. Am I entitled to any of the funds (1st month, security, pet deposit) since we were not provided a safe and clean environment?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Scarsdale, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Yes. Call me or another Landlord / Tenant / Civil Litigation Attorney (someone who knows how to do a trial) and we will take care of it. In this sort of case I would do a free phone consultation and or a free in person consultation and would require a flat rate of $620 to get you back the security deposit and rent. Depending on the venue r in this sort of case I would do a free phone consultation and or a free in person consultation and would require a flat rate of $620 to get you back the security deposit and rent. Depending on the venue, the Court will likely award some attorney’s Fees (Generally between $180 & $360) so you will re-coup around half of the flat rate.

First things first though you should give me a call and explain the situation more thoroughly at 914–912–1555 or via the “contact us” page of our website (AG3LAW.com). I will be happy to take as long as you need on the phone for a free consultation and regardless of whether or not you hire me the same is strictly confidential under attorney-client privilege as prescribed by law. I work all day long so the best time to reach me is generally between 9:30 PM and midnight… Otherwise I’m in the office in the afternoon but generally in Court every morning.

I can, pending a phone discussion and confirmation of certain facts, likely get both the deposits back (90% chance of success) for a flat fee of $620 (plus filing fees / service fees if good faith negotiations fail).

Back to the law on equity (synonym = fairness) this is the sort of case there is precedent for such an argument. Regardless of the real property law (though it too is on your side, assuming your pleadings are correctly drafted) and EVEN IF everything Landlord says is true you have an EQUITABLE argument I can make that the landlord was ‘unjustly enriched’. This law is the law of fairness and just taken into account in these sort of cases just as much as the actual substantive statutory law.

A bit of history, our law in the United States comes from the “Common Law” of England. Back in the day, Great Britain had two different types of civil court, courts of law and courts of equity (fairness). Although we do not have specific courts of equity in the state of New York, local courts especially small claims parts generally all follow binding case law that states “not only should equitable arguments be permitted, but due to binding case law, they should be entertained with equal weight as arguments of statutory law...further...if the two provide different outcomes, the court will rule “in the interest of fairness and justice (Ie: an ‘equitable’ ruling).

Text me “legal inquiry” to 9149121555 and I’ll call u right back for free consult; don’t let her steal your money.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.