General Question

tan253's avatar

Is this legal?

Asked by tan253 (663 points ) November 18th, 2012

We were suppose to be moving into an apartment tomorrow.
We have paid the security deposit and signed the lease, we were just waiting for the broker to get in touch with us so we could get the keys and give him rent. He phoned us an hour ago to tell us the landlords have decided they don’t want us living there!
We have a 7 month old, we met them at the house, everything seemed fine, he gave us the excuse that they thought we didn’t earn enough money – I’m pretty angry, as to be expected but I don’t know what my0 rights are here!
Does anyone know?
We had hired a truck and all packed to go!

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39 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Did the landlord sign the lease and give you a copy?

Judi's avatar

Did they give you a qualifying criteria when you applied? Do you think they are really discriminating because you have a child? You have rights and may have grounds for a complaint but that won’t help you in the short term. Can you afford an attorney? is there a legal aide office in your town? What state are you in?
@Adirondackwannabe has a great question too.

tan253's avatar

Only we had signed the lease, the broker was giving it to them to sign, we are in NY.

Judi's avatar

I think NY has some pretty strict tenant rights laws. I’m just not familiar with them.

tan253's avatar

I am going to phone 311 tomorrow and ask, so frustrating, how can people do that?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Okay, did they cash the security deposit? And please stay calm. I know how pissed I’d be. But it doesn’t help right now.

tan253's avatar

yeah I know, its just that we have had such bad luck with rental places and the neighbors play music every night till 4am here.
He didn’t say if they had cashed it. Im assuming not?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Okay, when’s the lease up on your current place? And call your bank tomorrow to see if they cleared the check. I’m in NY too. Our laws are pretty good for renters.

tan253's avatar

We are not renting, we are house sitting but have to be out by 15th Dec, will check with bank…. grrrrrrrr

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Here’s a place to start. I haven’t found rentals yet but I’m looking.
http://www.ag.ny.gov/bureaus

_Whitetigress's avatar

@tan253 Oh boy just so you know I’m with you here. I would blow up for sure. Stay level headed though. Take it slow one step at a time and don’t lash out at family members. This is a bump in the road for you.

I personally couldn’t live somewhere where someone did me wrong like this. Time to hit up Craigslist again.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@tan253 Don’t stress if you can. You have the new baby and this is enough to drive you crazy, but let us stress over it for now if you can.

tan253's avatar

ha thanks guys, truly appreciate the cyber support! Deep breathes and craigslist is already up!
Karma I guess is what I will take as payment to them… I wonder what I did to keep having bad luck with rentals!!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Good. It helps when someone is there for you. The check will be a key thing. I’m guessing the rentor was a weasel and deposited the check. I’d sick the AG on his or her ass.

tan253's avatar

What is AG?
I hope he didn’t deposit the cheque, but if he did – boy oh boy!

Brian1946's avatar

AG= Attorney General.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

AG is Attorney General. NYS has a long history of the AG being pro-consumer. @tan253 Are you not a native NY’er?

Brian1946's avatar

If you have online or telephone access to your checking account, see if you can stop payment on the check.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@tan253 NYS’s websites suck. I’m still looking for rental housing. Hang in there and keep your chin up.

tan253's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Im from NZ… will look into everything tomorrow. For now I’ll have a glass of red wine and watch a bad Adam Sandler comedy!

Brian1946's avatar

@tan253

For now I’ll have a glass of red wine and watch a bad Adam Sandler comedy!

“Bad” Adam Sandler comedy?! I didn’t know that such a thing existed! ;-O

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Good for you. I’ll have a good chablis and work on it tomorrow too. Cheque gave you away.:)

tan253's avatar

Well, I agree @Brian1946 but my husband tells me I have bad taste in movies because I like Adam Sandler!

tan253's avatar

Oh I feel so much better – thanks guys for helping me out!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Happy Gilmore was fun.:) Glad we could help. More to come.

tan253's avatar

Water Boy!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Second Water Boy! You’re good. We’ll work some more tomorrow. :)

CWOTUS's avatar

Actually… if the landlord has cashed the check, then you’re probably going to move into the rental. Accepting the check generally constitutes at least tacit agreement, whether or not the landlord has signed the lease.

But I wouldn’t call the law just yet. Presumably you have been somehow qualified to rent the place, so unless you mis-stated any facts on the rental application, the broker should be all up in the landlord’s grill about honoring the contract. If the deal falls through, it’s a huge embarrassment to the broker, so he has a stake in this, too.

There are places that exist, and which have the legal right to exist, and which rent to “adults only”. (I don’t know if this is the case in NY or not.) So if your rental application doesn’t include any information about the child, then the landlord (and the broker, too) may have assumed that you already knew about the adults-only exclusion. So find out if that is the case, too.

If there’s no reason to exclude you specifically because of the child, and if you honestly qualified for the property, then I don’t see any reason why you won’t take possession soon. Be calm and patient, but assertive.

Judi's avatar

Do you have this information yet? It is a phamplet from the Attorney General regarding your rights as a tenant in New York.

Response moderated (Spam)
JLeslie's avatar

If the other party, the landlord, did not sign then you probably don’t have a contract. Was it for sure a security deposit you gave? Or, might it have been an application fee. Is the landlord giving you back your security deposit?

Let us know what 311 tells you.

flo's avatar

It is (it should be) illegal for a landloard to cash a cheque and keep it, if he/she is not accepting you. He/she has to return it plus and the cost of chasing him for it. That is just my guess.

Response moderated (Spam)
newtscamander's avatar

I wasn’t aware that there are any good Adam Sandler movies

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@tan253 Any word on the check?
@scuniper God keeps a special place in Hell for those that dis Adam Sandler.

CWOTUS's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe that would be the seats in the theater (or on one’s own couch, I suppose), watching the movie to continue to verify the claim.

I actually saw an Adam Sandler movie that didn’t look like all of the other ones, but now I can’t recall what it was.

newtscamander's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Are you sure He doesn’t keep a special place in Hell for those that are Adam Sandler?!

Brian1946's avatar

@scuniper Adam Sandler already addressed that issue with the stool of cinematic mastery known as Little Nicky. ;-p

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