Imix Lawyers

What steps do I have to take to get my landlord to make repairs?

Under a provision of state law called the "Warranty of Habitability," tenants are entitled to an apartment fit for human habitation without any conditions endangering or detrimental to their life, health, or safety.

Consequently, all tenants, regardless of rent regulation status, are eligible to seek repairs and rent abatements for violations of this Warranty of Habitability. Note, however that your landlord may not be responsible for the COST of repairs if the defects were due to your negligence or the negligence or abuse of someone else in your household. Regardless of whether the landlord or the tenant is ultimately liable for the cost of a repair or maintenance defect, the owner is obligated to keep the premises in good repair.

If your apartment has defects and needs repairs, we generally advise renters to follow the following steps, IN ORDER:

Contact your super about the needed repair.
If your superintendent or management company is not being responsive, and the repair has not been made in a timely manner, write a letter to the owner of the building detailing the problem and asking for the repair to be made by a certain date. If the super is simply lax about making repairs, this type of "prompt" to the owner may elicit action. Send the letter by certified mail (read your lease and be sure to follow the requirements for "notices" set forth in the lease) and keep a copy in your files.
If the letter does not bring a response, try to contact the owner in person or by phone. Let him know that resolving the problem is important and that if it is not resolved you will have to file a complaint with the authorities.
If the owner still does not respond you can do any (or a combination of) the following:

Ask the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) for a housing inspection. HPD can order the landlord to make repairs and/or fine the landlord. A word of warning, however -- this process may take time unless the problem is urgent such as a loss of heat or hot water. Such problems receive a higher priority from HPD.
Make the needed repair yourself (or hire someone to do it) and deduct the cost from your rent. Be CERTAIN that the expense was necessary to correct a violation of the City's Housing Maintenance Code. Also, be careful to get bids for the work and to document both the needed repair and the costs. Bear in mind that this may result in litigation for non-payment of rent. You will need to justify your withholding. Before you take this approach it is wise to consult legal counsel.
If your apartment is rent-stabilized, file a complaint for a decrease in service with the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal, the agency which administers the rent laws. More information is available in this fact sheet.
In the case of maintenance problems that are severe, you should consider filing an HP Action in Housing Court. For more information on housing court in New York City, see our two resources on housing court here and here.

Well there you have it...I know they would hate it if i go to the housing department.
 

up2detime

Registered User
Dey does claim it back. The person supposed to pay de costs plus what dey asking.

Most times de lawyer letter does frighten dem and dey does juss pay.
Trinis not litigious so dey does get frighten and pay up.

Wha I doh understand is how ah woman could tell yuh ah man piss on she couch and you acting like is ah Blue Waters fall on it.
I'm saying its ok, but the route she looking is not going to be productive.


The tenants above u are responsible for damaging ur property, so they shud' be liable for the damages. If the property management or the Super chooses to clean or pay somone to clean the couch. That is a "courtesy" cuz they are not the ones responsible.
that was my orginal point!

That's what's pissing me off the most. The nonchalant attitude.

.
i aint trying to upset you further but your options are very limited. espcially if is bums you dealing with.
 

Mrs. Yankee Doodle

Sweetness4life
But I am curious as to how the pee got onto your couch and u are not concerned about them fixing whatever hole that the place have and more concerned about the pee on the couch........not saying that you shouldn't be concerned, but maybe you should try this angle in court if it reaches there instead of getting ur couch cleaned....maybe i reading this wrong *shrugs*
 
T

T-MAKAA

Guest
But I am curious as to how the pee got onto your couch and u are not concerned about them fixing whatever hole that the place have and more concerned about the pee on the couch........not saying that you shouldn't be concerned, but maybe you should try this angle in court if it reaches there instead of getting ur couch cleaned....maybe i reading this wrong *shrugs*
Nah its not a hole. The window was basically open, just the screen was up. U know if this wasnt MCL story i wud be laffing at this whole scenario. Sounds like something from American PIe
 
I think you should check your lease and if it says the landlord is only responsible for the exterior of the building. Just read your lease in general and see if your situation causes any violations to the lease.

The warranty of habitability is a bare minimum that every landlord must follow (due to the fact that years ago ppl would rent places that had no heat, broken staircases, etc and try to claim that they were not responsible for such upkeep), generally leases cover more than this warranty. While the chances are that the landlord did not place in the lease anything beyond his responsiblity to the exterior of the building, who knows. Note, there is some case law, from what I can remember (and my memory is not as good as it used to be), that states that just because a resident of a building makes the dwelling inhabitable does not mean that the landlord is off the hook from repairing the problem. However, I do not know if your situation would fit into this scenario.

The whole monkey-wrench in this situation is the fact that there are illegal squatters who caused the damage. I am not sure how that would play out. The landlord was supposed to collect the keys from the prior tenants, not sure if that means that the landlord is now responsible for the damage the squatters caused to the building and other tenants' residences.

Long shot: call 311 and ask for the number to NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development and see if they can provide guidance

Either way, I am not sure if you have a case or not and my recommendation would be to try to avoid guests staying at your place until the management rectifies the situation. To repair it yourself and deduct the cost from your rent may cause more headaches, even if you are justified in do so, than it is worth.
 
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MÉCHANT LOUP

Cervical Cancer
where do you live?

I think in a notorious flatbush housing complex...:smile3:


That's what's pissing me off the most. The nonchalant attitude.



Well apparently the people upstairs are squatters and do not belong there. The lady that was living there moved out about a yr ago and she gave the keys to some family member so the company is in court trying to get them out. I don't even see when they are coming or going, i just hear footsteps now and again. I just sent them a nice letter and if I don't get a response then it's going to go further than that.

If the squatters or even legal tenants created a fire and the fire dept flooded the upstairs apartment to extinguish the fire. How would the landlord or fire dept. be liable for your damages??? Even if it was water damage from a faucet left open/running, how wud' it be the landlords fault? It would be the negligence of the above tenant or squatter. This where Renter Insurance comes into play...perhaps you should get some. Or, call the cops file a Criminal complaint against the squatters. Showed them the damages, have them write a report, tell them you want to have them charged with a crime cuz their actions has endange the health & well-being of your child.


That is not a defect tho.
*shrug*....

Either way, I am not sure if you have a case or not and my recommendation would be to try to avoid guests staying at your place until the management rectifies the situation. To repair it yourself and deduct the cost from your rent may cause more headaches, even if you are justified in do so, than it is worth.

awwwwwww....reference something "legal" and you jump out like the boogie man. lol
 

Alpha Unit

Insurgent
I think you should check your lease and if it says the landlord is only responsible for the exterior of the building. Just read your lease in general and see if your situation causes any violations to the lease.

The warranty of habitability is a bare minimum that every landlord must follow (due to the fact that years ago ppl would rent places that had no heat, broken staircases, etc and try to claim that they were not responsible for such upkeep), generally leases cover more than this warranty. While the chances are that the landlord did not place in the lease anything beyond his responsiblity to the exterior of the building, who knows. Note, there is some case law, from what I can remember (and my memory is not as good as it used to be), that states that just because a resident of a building makes the dwelling inhabitable does not mean that the landlord is off the hook from repairing the problem. However, I do not know if your situation would fit into this scenario.

The whole monkey-wrench in this situation is the fact that there are illegal squatters who caused the damage. I am not sure how that would play out. The landlord was supposed to collect the keys from the prior tenants, not sure if that means that the landlord is now responsible for the damage the squatters caused to the building and other tenants' residences.

Long shot: call 311 and ask for the number to NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development and see if they can provide guidance

Either way, I am not sure if you have a case or not and my recommendation would be to try to avoid guests staying at your place until the management rectifies the situation. To repair it yourself and deduct the cost from your rent may cause more headaches, even if you are justified in do so, than it is worth.
Actually I think the monkey wrench is her leaving her window open lol. In reality green font is most correct that the offer to clean is a courtesy and not an obligation. Cleaning and repairing personal property in instances not caused directly by the property owner/ management company's negligable behavior is extremely unlikely to be a clause included in a lease agreement. If her property is damaged through work/ repairs sanctioned by the landlord then she has a case against the landlord/ management otherwise as unfortunate as it is she would have to eat that cost.
 

MÉCHANT LOUP

Cervical Cancer
she needs to call the police, file a complaint, and see if any criminal charges can be served. That will help if she chooses to make this a civil matter against the squatters.
 
Update

So the letter worked. The landlord was there by COB on friday and he came and cleaned the window. Thanks for the advice guys.:derisive:
 

Bether

Member
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Member
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