October 1, 2022

Dragon Esdelsur

Home Sweet Home

How Do I Force My Unresponsive Landlord to Make Needed Repairs?

Q: I stay in a rent-stabilized apartment in a medium-dimensions, prewar creating in Brooklyn. A couple of months in the past, the ceiling in my shower commenced leaking. Then, a chunk of the ceiling higher than the leak collapsed. The tremendous coated the gap with cardboard but hardly ever basically preset the leak or ceiling. I have termed many situations, and he always states “tomorrow” but by no means fixes it. I have also referred to as administration two times and sent shots. The wall seems to be becoming moldy. The cardboard is starting to slide apart. What should I do?

A: There is really a large amount you can do. Start off by calling 311 to request an inspection from the Section of Housing Preservation and Improvement. An inspector would most likely situation a violation, which may possibly not fix your issue straight away but would generate a paper trail of proof.

“In normal, receiving violations put does not do substantially,” stated Samuel J. Himmelstein, a Manhattan lawyer who represents tenants. “Landlords will not often react.”

At the exact same time, file what is recognized as an HP continuing in housing court docket. It’s mainly a lawsuit filed against the landlord, whereby you talk to the courtroom to purchase the repairs. “This is the fastest way to get it carried out,” Mr. Himmelstein claimed. These situations tend to move immediately, and the landlord commonly settles and agrees to the repairs.


This system should undoubtedly get your ceiling mounted. Resolving the mildew might be more complex. Mould remediation is not low cost and can sometimes be considerable. You would need to have to prove that you have mildew, and your pictures on your own will not be ample. You would also have to hire your have qualified to figure out the extent of the issue and make tips for remediation, Mr. Himmelstein stated. Mildew can pose really serious health and fitness risks, so, if you are involved about it, you may possibly want to choose this more action.

You need to also be entitled to a lease abatement for this period of time. Begin by asking the landlord for a single. If your request is rebuffed — as it in all probability will be — you can withhold hire entirely. If the landlord took you to housing courtroom for nonpayment, your protection would be that the conditions violated your guarantee of habitability, a state rule. You would in the long run have to pay back back again some of the lease for that period of time of time, but not all of it.

Nonetheless, after your ceiling is fixed, you might make a decision that the lease abatement is not worth the headache of a further working day in courtroom.

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