Can the property manager of my apartment charge me $150 fine for breaking into the basement?

UPDATED: Aug 28, 2011

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Can the property manager of my apartment charge me $150 fine for breaking into the basement?

Recently my power went out in my apartment. The power goes out all the time due to the faulty wiring that she fail to mention when I moved in. When the power goes out I have to go to the basement and turn the breakers. There use to be a key that I could access to get into the basement, but it broke over a month ago, and she hasn’t replaced it. My power went out, and I knocked in a board that was being used as a window to gain access to the basement. I was going to put the board back up the following night, but she found that I broke in and put it back up. Now she wants to charge me a fine.

Asked on August 28, 2011 Maine


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It sounds as if you have a great deal more to be concerned about here with the apartmentand the wiring that the alleged fine that she is hoping to charge you. I think that the issue may fall under a breach of a warranty of habitability and that you should go down to the local landlord tenant court and let them know that this problem - which is a violation of a building code I am sure - and ask that you be able to pay your rent in to court until such time as the problem is properly fixed and for an abatement - reduction  - in the rent for the time it has been faulty and until it has been fixed.  Bet you that is more than $150. She can counter sue you.  Good luck. 

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