Posted by TenantNet on October 25, 1997 at 08:19:20:
In Reply to: No heat in NYC posted by Ben C. on October 24, 1997 at 13:05:22:
: I live in a land marked building in the Wall St. area. Each apartment has its own heating/cooling unit in the apartment. Our unit has never worked properly (either heating or cooling). Assuming the reasonable approach (i.e., sending letters to the landlord requesting they fix the problem) what are my remedies? I am inclined to withhold all rental payments. Can I do this as a matter of right, or can I only withhold a portion of the rent? If only a portion, what percentage? I also thought a useful threat might be to hang a god-awful-looking heating/cooling unit from my window, and to report the building's owner to the NYC Landmarks Commission. Is this a good idea? Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Rent Withholding is not statutorily allowed -- so to speak, but it's a
contract issue. See the tenant FAQs and other info. You withhold your rent
after giving notice, the LL sues you and you have a defense of a violation
of a warranty of habitability. Eventually you will owe him the money
(maybe less an abatement), but it's leverage.
As for individual heating elements, I'm not so sure that's legal. I would
check with HPD and Buildings. I know some owners put in space heaters and
I seem to remember that that wasn't allowed. But being landmarked may
have certain restrictions.
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