What can I do if the landlord did not have the apartment cleaned prior tomy moving in?

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What can I do if the landlord did not have the apartment cleaned prior tomy moving in?

The landlord said that she would have the apartment cleaned and ready for me to move in on the first of the month. I signed a 1 year lease prior to the first. On the first when I received the keys and entered the apartment the apartment was dirty with mold on the sink, animal hair in every room, and the carpets had cat urine on them. When I confronted the landlord about the cleaning she said It was my responsibility to clean the place. A carpet cleaning agency told me that the cat urine was a biohazard. Does this void the lease? I do not want to live here due to this and the landlord.

Asked on August 6, 2011 New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You do not have anytting in writing from the landlord stating that she would have the apartment cleaned prior to your move in correct? If not, you have every right to be perturbed about the mess you were confronted with when you moved in. Do you have photographs depciting what you saw upon moving in? If so, send copies to the landlord and request a discount on your first month's rent and see how the landlord responds.

Custom and practice in the rental industry is that the landlord has the rented unit clean for the new tenant.

Your landlord is starting off poorly with you by not having a clean unit for move in, and then to claim it is your responsibility to clean someone else's mess.

Cat urine is not a bio-hazard. It just stinks due to its high concentration of amonia. If the carpets have cat urine in them that you can smell, write the landlord about this (keeping a copy of the letter) asking that the carpets be cleaned immediately. You do not want the landlord to accuse you of having cats that made the mess.

Unfortunately, you are stuck with your lease for now unless the landlord is willing to end it voluntarily.

Good luck.


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