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Violations as a bargaining chip

Posted by Minty on May 24, 2001 at 13:45:10:

Actually, the post below, "To Pay or Not to Pay," reminded me of this.

Does anyone have a tale to tell regarding building code violations and using this as a bargaining chip to get out of a lease?

This begins as many scenarios of woe here: Brooklyn, 3 units, non-stabilized, etc. At this point, I just get depressed looking at the old, brown, chipped and mismatched kitchen floor, the molding that literally cracks to the touch, the door with the hole in the kitchen leading to the SCARY closet, the floors disentigrating below the radiators (need I go on?). The management company eventually does repairs such as replacing crumbling outlets, but they won't do anything cosmetic, like replacing the icky, cracked door. Unfortunately, I don't posses extensive knowledge about structure and wiring, and I definitely have my doubts whether these are up to par.

I do have a terrible feeling about the hallway stairs leading to the 3rd floor (our floor). It's a free-standing contraption, and both the management and LL have used these stairs in their current condition. I hesitate going to the management company because they operate on the philosophy that you fix it only if it's broken, and not to prevent some unforseen tragedy. My other fear is that they will actually send someone to perform some sort of duct tape task just to placate me.

Under no circumstances will I allow my future movers to carry anything heavier than my desk in the staircase's current condition, which eliminates any possibility of bringing my stove or couch.

My only solution, it seems, is to call a structural inspector. If there is indeed a violation, I'm willing to give up the couch and stove if I can just bargain my way out of the lease with no financial penalty. (I know there is the slight possibility of a complete building condemnation, but hey, my safety is what's most important, no?)

Has anyone ever tried this following a violation report?


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