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landlord not fixing leaking ceiling which has leaked for

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landlord not fixing leaking ceiling which has leaked for

Postby marguerite » Tue Aug 20, 2002 11:25 pm

I'm new to this, so forgive me if this sort of thing has been posted before. I have lived in the same rent stablized apartment for nine years with very cheap rent. For the past six years, I have had persistant leaking from my ceiling. My bedroom is located under a roof garden, and I have had leakage pretty much every time it rains. My landlord has been extremely unhelpful- usually a painter will come in and apply plaster and a coat of paint, and it will act as a band aid to the issue, but little else. I believe that they are reluctant to do anything else because they would like me to move out. They have informed me that I would have to move out of the apartment in order to really get to the root of the problem- that they would have to tear up the ceilign and look at the pipes. Since this was not a "pre-existing condition" when I began renting, I feel that they should be working with me to solve this problem. I have offered to have a contractor come in and make an estimate. I believe that this can be fixed, but think my landlord is stalling. How can I get this fixed?- I love my apartment and cheap rent!
marguerite
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Upper West side

Re: landlord not fixing leaking ceiling which has leaked for

Postby my2boysjj » Wed Aug 21, 2002 10:59 am

HI Trust me you DON'T have to move. You need to run to court and open something called an escrow. What that is, is that you take your landlord to court, you pay your rent to the court, and the court will give him the money when he repairs completly and correctly. Evenmore, you can also ask the court for an abatement of rent that is that your asking for your rent REDUCED because the apartment has lost its value since the day you have moved in. Tell the landlord about what your going to do and also that is fine for you to move out for as long as it takes but that he is to not charge you for the days that you are out of the apartment because obviously your going to have expenses somewhere else. I'm not a lawyer but I hope this helps.
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Re: landlord not fixing leaking ceiling which has leaked for

Postby MikeW » Wed Aug 21, 2002 11:05 am

At the very least, I would call the Department of Buildings and get an inspection. Chances are they'd issue a violation, which would put all this on record with the city. Then, if the LL doesn't really fix the problem, reduce the rent you send him. Save the money you are witholding, in case you have to pay it later.

Yes, at this point he will file to evict you for non-payment. You will need to file a counterclaim for dimunision <sp?> of services. Since, at this point, there is a building code violation of file (preferrably with a reinspection showing that the problem wasn't fixed), you have good cause to withold rent. The end result will likely be a negotiated stipulation that the LL will have to really fix the problem, and you will pay the full rent. You may or may not have to repay the rent you witheld, depending on what mood the judge is in.

If you're smart, tough, and do your homework, you could possibly do this without a lawyer, but I wouldn't recommend it. Your better off getting one involved before you start this process. A letter from a lawyer at the outset may demonstrate a level of seriousness on your part that may convince the LL that it isn't worth stalling anymore.
MikeW
 
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Re: landlord not fixing leaking ceiling which has leaked for

Postby marguerite » Thu Aug 22, 2002 1:51 pm

Thank you to all who replied regarding the leak in my ceiling. It was extremely helpful and has given me a game plan! Much thanks!
marguerite
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Upper West side


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