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warrant of habitabilitiy (tobacco odor)?

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warrant of habitabilitiy (tobacco odor)?

Postby tooltalk » Wed Dec 25, 2002 7:06 pm

Does purgent stench (e.g. intense tobacco odor) fall under the warrant of habitability in NYC?

I live with three roommates in a four-bedroom coop in Manhattan. The owner of the coop promised to clean my room and eliminate the odor before my move in mid Oct - the previous occupant of the room supposedly smoked 3-4 packs/day. Though the room was painted and the carpet was replaced soon after I'd moved in, they did nothing to reduce the intensity of the odor. Almost three months has passed, I tried air purifier, air refreshener, and other various methods to subdue the smell without much success. In addition, the owner's dog only makes the situation worse as it is allowed to roam around the apt and poop anywhere - I stepped on its feces twice before. The owner makes a lot of empty promises, but nothing has been done despite my diplomatic approach.

The building I live in has a number of building violations - most recently, the management had to renovate the disposal area to prevent rat infestation. I have also discovered that the owner has a large number of lawsuits filed against him (three+ this year alone) from his previous tenants or roommates and that Enron has better credit than he does. I paid many months' worth of rent in advance, so I can't just leave and find another place - that is, the chance of recovering all my security deposit is very dim.

I'm thinking maybe if I could get the dept of building or the dept of health to inspect the place and issue some sort of violation (provided that there is a law against it), I could end my misery and move out or at least use the as a legitimate ground for a lawsuit.
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2002 2:01 am

Re: warrant of habitabilitiy (tobacco odor)?

Postby Phil Cohen » Thu Dec 26, 2002 3:55 pm

Proving that you have an uninhabitable apartment would be tough. These sorts of things are determined by the courts on a case-by-case basis. You might have a better chance trying to repair the problem and deducting from the rent.
Keep in mind that I am a tenant. Not a lawyer!!!!!
Phil Cohen
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Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2002 2:01 am

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