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Landlord super sketchy about access to basement

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Landlord super sketchy about access to basement

Postby ArtKat350 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:24 pm

So our landlord in our building emails and texts us often about how we aren't by ANY means allowed to let ANY inspectors, maintenance people, Nat Grid or ConEd folks into the building. Like never ever ever. Only tenants and guests of tenants. Emails and texts of this sort we're happening like every six weeks or so. Okay. Fine.

But I'm wondering about something that happened last week. Our neighbor smelled gas in the hallway and called him. Someone else in the building smelled gas and immediately called NatGrid...like it says you're supposed to do WHEN YOU SMELL GAS. After that explosion in Harlem no one was playing around. Well, our landlord also called the NG people and came over and let them in and everything was cool. No gas.

But then she called up the other neighbor who called NG and pretty much freaked out on him saying that if there's ever an emergency to immediately call her and that no one in the building is to ever let in NG or ConEd people. Also she was super condescending about whether this person actually knew what gas smelled like.

But now I'm left to wonder....what if there is a fire? Do we call her first? Or we have a medical emergency? Do we have to get her okay to let the EMTs into the building? Also, why so sketchy about the basement? It feels like she's got something weird going on down there. Heat and utilities have thus far been included in our rent. I just am worried now that something illegal or unsafe is going on down there.

Any ideas?
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Re: Landlord super sketchy about access to basement

Postby TenantNet » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:50 pm

Access to a building's basement is allowed - or maybe necessary - in a number of instances.

For example, if tenants have rights to a storage space in the basement, either pursuant to your lease, or as a required service under rent stab or rent control, then obviously the tenants would have access rights. Other examples might be a super's office or a laundry room.

As for inspectors. they trump whatever the landlord says or does. They have rights by law. Now, inspectors must carry credentials, either badges or other credentials. You should be also able to call the agency or utility to verify the inspector's legitimacy. (don't take the number they give you ... call the number in the phone book). Of course if you or other tenants have called 311/911 with a complaint, you will know to expect them.

If there is a super who is preventing the inspector access, and if it's something serious, you should call the police, or otherwise persuade the super that preventing access might be a criminal or civil offense. (we can't say for certain it is, but I would suggest it anyway).

You do not want to take any chances when it comes to building safety, not only gas, but electric, fire, structural issues, etc. When the LL exhibits such behavior, I would just nod, and then ignore him/her if it ever comes up again.
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