Can I recover all the rent I paid if I live in an illegal apartment?

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Can I recover all the rent I paid if I live in an illegal apartment?

I live in an illegal apartment and was told I can recover all the rent I ever paid? I have no lease and pay cash on a month to month basis. Due to a falling out, I would like to prevent the landlord from taking advantage of anyone else.

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you can receive the return of the rent paid for an illegal rental that you occupied from your landlord depends upon what your state's statutes say on such a topic or if there is a local ordinance in the city or county where the unit is located that allows you to recover some or all of your rent from the landlord if you lived in an illgal apartment.

The first thing that you need to do is find out if there is a statute or ordinance in your state and locality allowing the return of rent paid by a tenant for an illegal unit. If so, you need to carefully read the statute and ordinance to see if it applies to you. Secondly, you need to see what "illegality" gives the tenant or former tenant the right to receive the return of rent paid and if the "illegality" applies to the rental you occupied.

I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney further about your question.


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