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Leaky roof?

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Leaky roof?

Postby hal8999 » Sat Oct 12, 2002 10:21 am

Hello all. I am a month-to-month tenant on 4th avenue in brooklyn. I have lived in this apartment for about 2 1/2 years and love everything about the place except for one thing - The roof leaks sometimes. It has only happened a handful of times since I've lived here, but with the rain of the last 24 hours, there are now 4 individual leaks, one of them requiring that pots be put under it to catch the water falling down... Needless to say I am concerned about possible structural damage to the building, not to mention my stuff getting wet, etc. I also have asmtha and am concerned about the walls getting moldy.

The building is old, most likely pre-war. The landlord is a WW2 vet and is excentric to say the least. In the past when the roof has leaked, I tell his handyman to fix it and he goes up to the roof and slaps some tar on it and the leak stops. But I have now lived here long enough to notice that the leaks keep re-occuring in the same places over and over...

As I am month-to-month, I would like to avoid getting into a confrontational/antagonistic situation with my landlord whereby he may try and kick me out or raise the rent (its high enuff already, thank you very much). The membrane roof is old, and from what I understand would be excessively expensive to replace wholesale. I also know from people downstairs that the roof has been leaking for years, and given what I know about my landlord I am highly doubtful that he will simply spend the tens of thousands of dollars which would be required to fix the roof properly. What I wanted to know is this:

1) What are my options with regard to the repair. I am generally pretty handy (built furniture, dont mind getting dirty, etc) and want to know what, short of replacing the roof but further than slapping tar on the holes, can be done to stop the leaks and

2) What are my rights as a tenant with regard to getting the landlord to pay for whatever expenses are incurred? I am flexible and would like to do anything possible to avoid a protracted fight or a situation where I must go to court or withhold rent, etc

Basically I am looking for ideas & suggestions, and info as to my rights as a tenant as far as how responsible he is for fixing the leaks... Thanks for any advice ppl can provide!
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Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Brooklyn

Re: Leaky roof?

Postby consigliere » Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:10 pm

You already know that, as a month-to-month tenant, the landlord can terminate your tenancy with 30-days' written notice. If you make a complaint to HPD, you might be temporarily protected against a retaliatory eviction.
I know very little about roofing, but it might be possible to make more extensive repairs at the trouble spots than the handyman has been doing.
If possible, try to talk to your landlord about this. Tell him that the repairs are tax-deductible and will save him money in the long run, rather than letting the roof deteriorate further.
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2002 2:01 am

Re: Leaky roof?

Postby Brooklyn Babe » Sun Oct 13, 2002 1:05 am

A new roof cost around $2000.00.
The above information is from a non-attorney tenant activist and is not considered or to be used as legal advice.
Brooklyn Babe
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Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:01 am

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