Gas Leak Issue - who pays?

This is a discussion on Gas Leak Issue - who pays? within the Real Estate and Property Law Questions forums, part of the Legal Questions & Answers Forum category; In August of 2011, a stove top burner was accidentally left on, resulting in the FDNY having to come to our apartment as an emergency response. There were subsequent fees ...

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    Gas Leak Issue - who pays?

    In August of 2011, a stove top burner was accidentally left on, resulting in the FDNY having to come to our apartment as an emergency response. There were subsequent fees associated with resuming gas service to the building, which the management company charged me for (as it was my apartment that was 'leaking gas'). After months of disputes, we verbally agreed on paying an amount and not receiving back our security deposit. Now, almost a year later, the management company has hired a collections lawyer, seeking to collect $3,750, a debt we apparently owe. This amount is arbitrary and does not have any bearing to the initial problem. We have thirty days to dispute the debt. How should I proceed? In January of this year we moved from the apartment, so they are no longer our current managemetn company.


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    I could send you a letter saying you owe me 3,000, but that doesn't make it true. First I would look at your lease to see what your contract says on the matter. I would hope that when you negotiated your agreement with the management company, there was something in writing. I would argue that your payment to them and forfeiture of your security deposit constitutes accord and satisfaction. Collection companies and collection attorneys like to act like the classroom bully. You should write them back saying you already resolved the issue. I would also metion that the number looks arbitrary. Keep copies of everything you send, and send it via certified mail. There are consumer protection statutes that can give you some teeth to bite back against overzealous collectors. These are found in the fair debt collection practices act and may be tied in to New York's Deceptive trade practices act which allows treble damages. After you get a response back it make sense to visit an attorney.
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