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Old 08-16-2010, 10:28 PM   #1
kevmoron
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Default Landlord difficulties

Hi all,

My landlord is being an ass! I wondered if anyone has dealt with anything similar. I know that landlord/tenant laws very depending on where you are, but for the record, I am in Brooklyn.

I moved into this place in April. It is a GREAT find for Brooklyn. Good neighborhood, first floor, lots of space, very reasonable price, and the best part is a massive (for NYC) backyard with a great big concrete patio, a garden, and a giant, generous fig tree. I do NOT want to give this place up.

When we signed the lease, I briefly mentioned to him that I brew beer, and he raised no objections. He thought it was interesting and told me he wanted to try some of my beers.

Fast forward 4 months. We have been bugging him some time to fix several minor outstanding issues with the place, and I guess it got to be too much for him, as he called me up today and told me I was asking for too much and that he would be happy to let me out of the lease. I told him I certainly did not want to leave, and then he drops this bomb:

"I told you a while back not to brew your beer as it is an insurance liability"

He proceeds to claim it is some kind of fire hazard (I guess he means the propane tank, which I only use for the boil, on bare concrete, with nothing combustible within 10 feet) and says that lease allows only residential activities (I think he is assuming I sell it, though I made it clear I do not). He also claims he had heard nothing of this before we signed, which was completely untrue. I tried to convince him that brewing is no different from cooking, asking if I also need special permission to make waffles, but he wasn't really buying it. He has some major trust issues, and generally doesn't believe anything I tell him if he perceives any chance of negative impact or financial loss on his end.

As far as I know he can't kick me out for this, and he can't really do anything to make me stop brewing.

Has anyone dealt with a situation like this?

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Old 08-16-2010, 10:35 PM   #2
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To me it makes a huge difference what constitutes "minor outstanding issues". If it really is minor, I would just stop asking for them and do it myself if its really necessary and then he will get off your back. Odds are he just doesn't want to deal with paying a contractor or repairman. Also, check to see if there are laws against using propane grills in attached multifamily homes. I know where I live it is against fire code, so I am forced to brew inside or else the condo association would go nuts.

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Old 08-16-2010, 10:46 PM   #3
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never volunteer info like "I Brew Beer" .

we are outcasts.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:03 PM   #4
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Propane can be used legally in a two family residence, so if there's three or more units in your building, he can make you stop using it. There's also a minimum clearance amount, but it sounds like your backyard provides for that. Good luck. Best thing to do is probably make peace with him over the "minor" stuff and maybe he'll leave you alone. Although he obviously has obligations to you, sometimes its better to live peacefully.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:18 PM   #5
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could always go electric and indoors. I doubt very much that DIY electrics meet UL (or whatever,) but you also don't need to volunteer that you're brewing electric, either. stovetop is also an option. Just tell him that you've gotten rid of the propane.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:28 PM   #6
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Or ask for the number of his insurance agency and see if you can clear it with them

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
Propane can be used legally in a two family residence, so if there's three or more units in your building, he can make you stop using it. There's also a minimum clearance amount, but it sounds like your backyard provides for that.
But that is just inside, right? Sounds like he's brewing outside, so that means no issue as long as he's far enough from the building?

Yeah, the fact that I brew is not information I generally offer up when renting a place...if they come by and see the carboy's I'd say I'm making lots and lots of sun tea and didn't take it outside that day
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:48 PM   #8
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Yeah, i'm of the opinion that ignorance is bliss. Landlords need not know we brew. We know it's safe, but they get panicky.

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Old 08-16-2010, 11:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquitocontrol View Post
To me it makes a huge difference what constitutes "minor outstanding issues". If it really is minor, I would just stop asking for them and do it myself if its really necessary and then he will get off your back. Odds are he just doesn't want to deal with paying a contractor or repairman. Also, check to see if there are laws against using propane grills in attached multifamily homes. I know where I live it is against fire code, so I am forced to brew inside or else the condo association would go nuts.
+1 on telling us the minor issues, and I agree if they are minor enough just do them yourself and hopefully he will stop bugging you about brewing or if they are a cost that you would not be comfortable paying for check with the landlord that if you do all the legwork getting quotes, etc. that he will fit the bill.
And don't give him any beer to try untill he has done something to make up for pulling out the "stop hassling me or I'll evict you" card.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:14 AM   #10
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Hide the burner and tank and brew a few 3 gallon stovetop batches. At that point, there is NOTHING he can say. If its on the stove, it could be 3 gallons of wort or a big pot of gumbo for all he (should) care.

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