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Re: Basement Bedroom - Legal?

Posted by DK on December 07, 1998 at 17:01:22:

In Reply to: Basement Bedroom - Legal? posted by MM on December 07, 1998 at 14:56:08:

If your basement is in a multiple dwelling (more than 3 units) in New York City, there are very specific provisions of the Housing Maintenance Code and Building Code which make the landlord responsible for adequate storm drainage. Tenants have obtained court repair orders requiring outlays of substantial sums in order to make sure that rented basements do not flood. Tenants are entitled to rent abatements and damages for any flooding.

As to whether it is legal to rent the basement, you should consult the certificate of occupancy on file at the Buildings Department. If the rental is in violation of the certificate of occupancy, you do not owe any rent at all (Multiple Dwelling Law section 302), but you should have good legal representation to assert the claim. If you're right the landlord will have to pay your moving expenses and, perhaps, other damages arising from the illegal rental.

: I'd like to find out if our bedroom basement is legally rented. It has
: flooded three times, and I'd like to get out of the apartment before my
: lease ends, but I don't want to get screwed out of my security deposit.
: I've heard rumors that there are certain requirements about how high the
: windows have to be for it to be legal, etc.

: Any advice out there, or similar situations?

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