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if no repairs, can I break lease?

Posted by Barbara on January 03, 1999 at 01:03:52:


My bathroom ceiling is leaking into my tub, and my kitchen sink has sprung a leak for the second time. My incompetent super offered to paint the bathroom ceiling, after I hounded him several times to come and look at the damage. Basically, he doesn't know how to fix it and whenever something needs to be repaired, he wants to paint. The landlord, who hasn't come to see the leak yet, insists that the ceiling doesn't need to be ripped out. I'm convinced the upstairs bathtub is going to end up in mine. I haven't told him about the leak in the kitchen yet because it just happened today and he wasn't home; they always refuse to hire a plumber, and the super had tried to fix this once before. Also, when the super cleaned my oven, he broke two of the burners and doesn't know how to fix it. And, the previous tenants had somehow thrown grease all over the walls, and he painted over it.
I am constantly having problems getting things fixed in this apartment, and I signed a year lease in October. I refuse to live there if the ceiling caves in...I know they need a "reasonable amount" of time to fix this...would anyone know how long that might be? So far it's been less than a week and they promised to come by on Tuesday. If they don't show, should I send my landlord a certified letter listing the damages and notifying him of my intent to withold the February rent? I hate to move again, because I have a dog and no one wants to rent to a dog owner...also, I need my security back in order to move he bound to return it if I break my lease for a valid reason? I live in NJ. Are the laws similar in NJ as in NY? Sorry for the long message...thanks for the info.


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