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Landlord refusing to fix crumbling ceiling

Posted by Nancy on September 22, 2000 at 13:23:00:


situation: my grandmother lives in the heart of chinatown in a 5 floor apartment building. i don't believe she has a written lease (from what i was told by my mother, the goverment has a copy of it and that in itself helps keep the rent low (i'm not very familiar with landlord/tenant issues since i've lived in a house most of my life) ) In anycase, several tiles of the ceiling along with several chunks of cement fell in her bedroom, and we have been seeking the landlord to repair it.

after speaking with the landlord numerous times, he stated that it is not his responsibility to fix it because it's not the original ceiling that was installed. to my grandmother, it is the original ceiling because when she moved in 30 years ago, it was already there! he insisted that we find the company that worked on it 30 years ago and ask them to repair it.

then in further conversations, he said that the drop-ceiling installed in the bedroom is illegal according to state laws. whether this is true, i am not sure. and insisted that because it is illegal and it is not the original ceiling, he is not going to do anything about it. he told use we have to hire a contractor on our own to do so.

does this sound fishy? is he trying to scare my grandmother out so he can renovate it and rent it out for 3 times as much? isn't he legally obligated to fix the ceiling? and if it was illegal, why does it suddenly become the tenant's problem and not the landlord? if anyone has a similar case, or can help me out with these questions, it would be greatly appreciated. i'm tired of the little people being taken advantage.

- Nancy

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