Inside the Story of a Hunt there is Smoke

Yesterday’s New York Times, “The Hunt” has a story about a couple seeking a bigger apartment, all the ups and downs.

In the middle of the story was an offer of an apartment being vacated because of a smoker’s smoke. The vacator is an attorney. She withheld the rent. The landlord took her to housing court. She won with an offer to vacate the apartment in two months and the rent would be forgiven.

Housing court records prevent people from getting apartments
I still don’t know what the non-smoker won in this case. If you are taken to housing court there is a record of that case. That record lasts a very long time. This record is a searchable for landlords in the City. They don’t care what you were in for, you were there. “You won’t be getting an apartment anywhere in the city with housing court on your record”, said a Newport representative for a very big landlord. Landlords get away with tons of broken laws in this City because the people do not have the money, the time (they’ll lose their job) and they don’t want the record. The record will hurt their job background checks, their landlord checks. In a city that goes to sleep when it comes to age discrimination, go figure.

Your smoke leaves me unsanitary
In my case, the cigarette smoking is so bad that my hands, hair and self smell like nicotine when I wake up in the morning. My quilt is grey with ashes. I might as well be their ashtray. My clothes smell like cigarette smoke. I don’t want people at work discriminating against me because I smell like a smoker.

No health problems diagnosed before moving into this apartment
When I moved into this apartment I never had been inside an ER room or a hospital patient.
I was diagnosed with lung and pulmonary disease due to the ER room visit. So I’ve got a paper. That’s how this society works papers of prejudice. In this case this paper might work out for me.

Was the Chump here before me?
I don’t really know. New York City forbids the salesperson, landlord to ask or answer on the question of cigarette smoking. Clearly if I knew it was a second-hand smoking apartment I would not have moved in.

Dear Chump, its nothing personal
I’ve never met the chump below. Its nothing personal against the poor, poor monkey. Anyway I doubt I’d be able to understand ‘chimp’ talk. I don’t have addictions other than thinking I can write a blog that might make a difference. I am totally addicted to that.

The Attitude of the Smoker
Many years ago, a smoker flung their arm full back behind them with the burning pacifier and caught my hand in the fire. My hand was holding my purse. That smoker didn’t even stop, they looked at my bleeding hand and went on. Now there is a shocker, a smoker who doesn’t pay attention to what’s in their hand. I was shocked. I have a scar on my hand today from that experience. Talk about being branded.

Warrant of Habitability
New York City’s warranty of habitability has huge loopholes in it by not defining livable, safe and sanitary. In the New York Times article it was hard to discern if the woman had won a case. It read like the landlord and the tenant had settled. Settlement is often the first attempt in a housing court case.

WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY
Tenants are entitled to a livable, safe and sanitary apartment. Lease provisions inconsistent with this right are illegal. Failure to provide heat or hot water on a regular basis, or to rid an apartment of insect infestation are examples of a violation of this warranty. Public areas of the building are also covered by the warranty of habitability. The warranty of habitability also applies to cooperative apartments, but not to condominiums. Any uninhabitable condition caused by the tenant or persons under his direction or control does not constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability. In such a case, it is the responsibility of the tenant to remedy the condition. (Real Property Law §235-b)

New York Case Fagen v Axelrod at 298.559
“Moreover, smoking is no more of a fundamental right than shooting-up or snorting heroin or cocaine. Fagen v. Axelrod, 146 Misc.2d at 297, 550 N.Y.S.2d at 559. If people do have a general “right of privacy” to smoke the New York legislation merely requires them to exercise it where it does not harm others. “There is no differentiation between classes of citizens by this law. Those who smoke have never in law been recognized as a distinct class.” Fagen v. Axelrod at 298, 559.”

Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
COVENANT OF QUIET ENJOYMENT
The right of quiet enjoyment addresses the tenant’s right to freedom from serious intrusions with his tenancy “such as acts or omissions that impair the character and value of the leased premises”.23 Landlords may be held responsible for the actions of third parties beyond their control.24
Clauses in the standard lease give the landlord the right to curb the smoking tenant’s violations related to ETS incursions. The provisions relate to “Disturbance, Illegal Use”25 and “Other Regulations”.26 A landlord’s failure to enforce the provisions gives the non-smoking tenant the right to sue the landlord for violation of the right to quiet enjoyment.27″

“Basic to all leases is the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. This covenant ensure the tenant that his possession will not be disturbed by someone with a superior legal title to the land including the landlord. See Restatement 2d § 4.1-4.3 (http://www.ali.org/ali/proplt.htm). A breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment may be actual or constructive. A constructive eviction occurs when the landlord causes the premises to become uninhabitable. “–Cornell law school

Why don’t you get an air cleaner, sweetie

  • Many a person will offer an ozone purifier or air cleaner. These techie toys do not clean the air, or the dust, they make it smell better. Also ozone purifiers can hurt your lungs. Sharper Image sued Consumer Reports see the cases for Consumer Reports’ publication about Consumer Reports’ experience with their Sharper Image product.
  • EPA has a report on ozone generators.
  • The landlord in Poughkeepsie would not let his long standing tenant have use of an ozone generator. Only when he had to lease out an apartment did he use it. He also did not care about the tenants above who would receive the harmful ozone emissions.

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