Posted by John E. Marre on March 30, 1999 at 00:29:18:
In Reply to: no security posted by Amy Marsman on March 29, 1999 at 16:59:10:
Landlords are responsible for what has been called "reasonable security" in the courts. What this means, exactly, is anyone's interpretation.
However, from court experience, I could suggest:
If possible, get any reports you can from the police precinct regarding calls to your building (your complaints would be sufficient).
Keep a record of every telephone call you've made to the landlord concerning the lack of front door lock.
Send a letter, certified, return receipt, (and keep a copy of this) to the landlord describing the hazard and stating, in plain terms, that you want the door lock repaired/replaced and by when you feel would be acceptable.
Be sure to include reasons why you feel your security is being compromised by the absence of a functioning lock.
Next steps are up to you:
You could take the matter to housing court and have a judge order the repair of the lock (of course, I warn you, a judge's order means nothing at all to some landlords in NYC... I could mention a name, but will refrain at this point)
You could withhold rent in lieu of the repair/replacement if you feel it is worth your while. This will force the landlord to take you to court where you could present your evidence and, again, have a judge order the repair. You MIGHT be awarded some monetary abatement for the period covered by the absence of security (or not... see paren. above).
The choice is yours.
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