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Who fixes broken air conditioner?

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Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby BudMay » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:25 pm

We moved into our apartment a few weeks ago and had two working air conditioning units. One is in a window and one in a wall that we have no idea what is on the other side. This unit just stopped working a few days ago. We had an appliance guy come in to fix it since the LL wasn't responding to our requests. The appliance guy said he couldn't fix it because there was no proper ventilation.
We have asked the LL to replace it since it was there and working when we moved in. He said he is not required to fix the AC. We signed a lease with an Appliance addendum that listed an air conditioner and other appliances in the unit, including some that aren't in the apartment. The addendum has spaces for details on the Brand and Model #, but the document and all other riders/info was blank and not filled in, other than our names and address. We do not have an executed lease from the LL.
1.) Does this mean the Air conditioner is part of the appliance package in the unit that the owner is required to fix when they stop working?
2.) Should we send the rider filled out with the missing Brand info on all the appliances listed there that are in the unit? Does it have more meaning since we don't have a fully executed lease from the owner?
3.) Are we "month to month" until we get the executed lease?
4.) What if the Landlord crosses out the "Air Conditioner" on the rider, after we have now already signed it?
BudMay
 
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:47 pm

As you're not rent stabilized, your rights are mostly limited to the lease.

It really depends on the wording of the lease. Did you make a copy of the lease you signed?

You say there's a rider; did you turn it in, or did you keep it? What does it actually say?
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby BudMay » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:00 pm

Copies? Of course!!!
Its an Addendum for Appliances
It says, "Tenant understands that it is their responsibility to maintain the appliances on the apartment in good working condition at all times as per the following Manufacturer's recommendations. At the end of the lease all the appliances be in good working condition."
Then it gives generals stuff about fridges, dishwashers, stove, but not AC.
Where it lists the AC again it says:
"The above recommendations are from various different manufacturers. It is the tenants responsibility to review the specific recommendations pertaining to the appliances that applicable to their apartment. In case of breakdown of any appl. Due to tenant negligence, the tenant would be automatically billed for such maintenance costs as part of next months rent.
"Please check the appliances that are applicable to your apartment and provide the specs for the corresponding appliance."
It then list various appliances, all are in the apt., but no washer and dryer.
There is a box to check next to each appliance and then says:
Make:_____________Model:______________

The bottom has spaces where we put our names, the apt. Number, and signature.
We couldn't fill it out because we didn't know the Brand or model number of any of them.
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:23 pm

Usually when a LL disclaims responsibility it's when a prior tenant installed something and the LL fails to remove it prior to the new tenant. But - in some cases - in doing so, the LL takes on the obligation for its ongoing maintenance.

Let's say this sort of rider does have some weight, that presumes the appliance was in good repair at the outset. If it broke right away, then in our view it's the LL's responsibility. Here, the LL not only says it's not their responsibility, but that it's your responsibility. I don't buy that.

Negligence is when a tenant operates a device in a manner that's not within its normal method of operation.

Did you sign and return this rider? If not, then don't. I don't think it would be binding, but if you haven't agreed to it, then don't do so.

And yes, copies. You would be surprised at the number of tenants who don't make copies. Document everything. Keep everything including envelopes (for the postmark).
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby BudMay » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:45 pm

We signed the blank document because the real estate broker was pressuring us to do so. She said she always sends the blanks and everyone signs it. She said if we didn't we would lose the apartment! (it would have been better, but we didn't know, this is our first NYC rental).
This AC unit has been in the apartment for at least 4 years. We have contact with the two previous tenants who told us that.
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:32 pm

You didn't answer the question. Did you send the rider back to the LL?

And you can ignore the broker.
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby BudMay » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:40 pm

Yes, they got all documents signed by us..
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:04 pm

Well, you implied above that you had not sent the rider in. See #2 on your first post.

In any case, you can pressure the LL, but it appears they won't do anything.

Have you investigated if the unit might be rent stab? LLs often lie about the status and many deregulations are illegal.

You can do things like withhold rent and be taken to court - where the inoperative unit would be your defense. (and be put on the blacklist).

Or you can start a HP Action in court. The problem is that the LL will trot out that document.

Or you can repair it yourself and consider possible compensation. Find out what the appliance guy meant.
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Re: Who fixes broken air conditioner?

Postby BudMay » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:21 am

Sorry about #2 above. We signed it not filled out, we didn't know the brands of the appliances. The real estate agent said she always has people sign them like this when we questioned it.
We wanted to know if we should fill it out now and send a "revised" one, since the LL hasn't signed anything yet. We would just be adding info that was asked for on the lease.

And the document states that any appliance that's in our unit. How can she change anything on the contract after we sign, wouldn't we have to initial her changes for the contract to be effective? Doesn't a legal contract have to have the two sides signatures?
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