Additional tenants have come forward after 7 News’ February 2022 exposé of problems Buffalo tenants are having with their landlord, Preischel Properties.
The tenants reported problems with other properties owned by the realtor, including black mold and rats in their units.
Attorney Justin Friedman, of Friedman and Ranzenhofer Attorneys at Law, says, “Whether or not it’s laid out in the rental agreement, there’s an implied warranty that the landlord will provide premises that are fit for human habitation.”
After visiting some of these properties, Friedman, a specialist in landlord-tenant law, said that in his opinion, the conditions in the properties in question are not acceptable for human habitation. He added that if a landlord is unresponsive and refuse to address remedying these issues, tenants have the right to withhold rent.
Because this option may result in the negative consequence of the landlord suing the tenant in court and risk ultimately being forced to leave the property, tenants can benefit from first reporting the property to their county health department or Buffalo building inspectors.
Making such reports provide tenants with a record of their request to remedy problems on the premises. This lays a foundation for a “presumption of retaliation,” should the landlord respond with eviction proceedings if the tenant ultimately decides to withhold rent.
Friedman adds, “If the landlord were to institute eviction proceedings, whether based on nonpayment or holdover, there is a presumption of retaliation, that the reason the landlord is doing it is because the tenant brought to the attention of the authorities that there’s a problem with the premises.”