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Is the lease binding if not signed but the landlord

Brooklyn, NY |

I signed a lease for the rent of the apartment in NYC. But on the day of my moving in I walked into the building and saw enormous amount of cockroaches in the hallway, stairs, elevator, apartment itself (dozens!!!) (I also asked if they have any kind of bugs or cockroaches - the super said no). So I decided not to move in because of the insanitary conditions. When I walked into the apartment I saw leaking water in the bathroom, smell of gas from the oven. The super of the building promised to fix everything before we move in (he promised it on the day of the lease signing 2 weeks prior to the moving in). The day I was moving in was 1 day before the lease started. I told to the super that I am not moving in due to unsanitary reasons and gave him back the keys. He called the landlord

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Same question posted twice.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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Who has the lease? If the landlord, I bet it is signed now.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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Dear he called the landlord?

You may not have had a proper lease. In New York, a tenancy is created when the tenant is provided with a copy of the lease signed by the landlord and the keys.

Was the "landlord" present at your lease signing? Did you inspect the apartment before signing the lease?

You may have properly canceled the lease, but time will tell. That means if the landlord does not sue you for rent, you will gather that the lease was canceled.

Did you provide a "security" deposit? if so, the landlord is required to notify you of the name and location of the bank that holds the security deposit. You may be entitled to the refund.

You may want to check to see if tenants in the building reported the insect infestation. Go to HPDOnlne at: and complete the drop down menu to locate the building you did not move into.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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Thank you for the response. I have the lease and the landlord did not sign it. There is no name of the bank where the security deposit is located. There is just a Landlord's name and his business address. I have never seen the landlord. He didn't show up for the lease signing. I just got the key and the lease that I signed was faxed to him. But, again, the lease that I have has no signature of his. I tried to call him to explain the situation with unsanitary condition but he said that they terminate the building every month. He refused to return my money and security deposit though I even didn't move in and announced it 2 days before the day lease started. I inspected the apartment before on the showing day, but there was one or two cockroaches in the hall and in the basement of the building. I understand that nothing is perfect and in a big building there may be some cockroaches, but not dozens running at the same time throughout the hall, stairs, apartment (I've never seen so many bugs in my life at 1 time even in the museum!). I applied to court for the landlord to return my 1st rent and security deposit, but he answered with a counter claim that is a yearly rent. Though, the apartment is already rented and my mail that was coming to that address for a while was stolen, including my credit card that was in fact used by someone. What should I do now? What is the article number that discusses the signing of the lease in the law? Do I have chances to win and can he really sue me for the whole year of rent if this apartment has been rented already?

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens


You have a chance to win and so does the landlord. It is not an "article" number; as the notion of delivery of a lease is derived from the Common Law. As I posted before, you may have properly cancelled the lease or not "time will tell." Your landlord may have violated New York law in relation to the security deposit. Now that you initiated a lawsuit, you should consider hiring an attorney. Good luck.

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