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No Gas in Apt for almost 4 months.

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No Gas in Apt for almost 4 months.

Postby laurenmvb » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:23 pm

We moved in to our apt in Sept. In Oct, I smelled gas around the gas meter in the kitchen and called Con Ed. They found 3 gas leaks and shut our gas/locked the meter. They told us our management co./landlord had to hire a plumber to do the repairs before they could re-inspect and turn it back on. The management company was NOT HAPPY that we called Con Ed but I told them that I would always call the utility company if there was a dangerous situation like a leak, no matter what they say.

The management co. hired a plumber, who came and did some of the work, Con Ed came back and told them they had to do more. They came back and supposedly did that work. The plumber was supposed to file paperwork with Con Ed and the Buildings Dept. so that they could proceed with inspections. As of now, almost 4 months later, that has not happened. We call Con Ed and the plumber once a week and get the same run-around: no paperwork filed. One claims they have filed, the other claims there is no paperwork on file. The management co. has stopped returning our calls.

We have no stove, a gaping hole in our kitchen wall where the gas meter used to be, and have lost the use of a full section of kitchen cabinet.

I am 3 months pregnant and have not been able to cook myself a hot meal yet during my pregnancy.

What should we do? We feel trapped and no one seems to have any answers among Con Ed, the plumber, and the management company. I have tried calling 311 but they connect me to housing court which says I have to come down there to file a report.

Any advice? We are at the end of our rope...
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:35 am

There is no question that it is the landlord's obligation to make certain that the equipment is safe and passes inspections. You did right to call Con Ed no matter how mad the LL now is.

We're looking into this and have asked for some expert advice ... and hope to have more information once we hear back. We'll either post it here or send you email.
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Postby Sky » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:32 am

Some possibilities:
File Decrease of Services complaint with DHCR (to reduce your rent).
Get this to the attention of HPD also.
Why not bring an HP case in court ($40 to file; free if you're broke)? I'd think this would be considered an emergency situation.
Some or all of these things together would place pressure on the LL to speed things up, so as to avoid additional violations, fines, loss of rent, legal expenses, etc.

Since you are not rent regulated, you need to take into account retaliation by the LL (not renewing lease, etc.). I'm not as knowledgeable with non rent regulated arrangements.
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Postby Cranky Tenant » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:42 pm

Sky wrote:Some possibilities:
File Decrease of Services complaint with DHCR (to reduce your rent).
Get this to the attention of HPD also.
Why not bring an HP case in court ($40 to file; free if you're broke)? I'd think this would be considered an emergency situation.
Some or all of these things together would place pressure on the LL to speed things up, so as to avoid additional violations, fines, loss of rent, legal expenses, etc.

Since you are not rent regulated, you need to take into account retaliation by the LL (not renewing lease, etc.). I'm not as knowledgeable with non rent regulated arrangements.


Sky, if the apartment is unregulated, as the OP has indicated, then DHCR has no jurisdiction to issue a rent reduction order for any decreased services. DHCR only oversees Rent Stabilized and Rent Controlled apartments.
I'm a cranky tenant NOT a cranky lawyer.
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Postby Sky » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:02 pm

Crank, thanks for the clarification.

What about an HP action? A gas related issue is an emergency condition and concerns denial of essential services. It is also a matter that concerns NYC as the city is responsible for making certain the building is maintained and habitable.
It is easy for the OP to file this sort of case, it is dirt cheap to do so, and NYC will provide a free attorney to fight on her (and NYC's) behalf. THE OP needs to make some noise in order to get some some action.

OP, you are not at the end of your rope, you are at the beginning of your rope. You have to complain to the places where it will matter.

You may also wish to have a consultation with a tenant attorney...see if you if can get a free consult or phone consult. This may constitute constructive eviction from your apartment...you are pregnant.
You also need to find out with DOB what the status is on this...there may be other complications delaying the LL that he is responsible for and is not dealing with and that you are unaware of. You need to get the lay of the land and get informed:if you are ignorant of what EXACTLY is going on, then you are going to be bamboozled by the landlord and eventually his attorneys. You may be fed deceptive and misleading info as a means for the LL to cover his ass. The city will drag its feet...it could be years before the city actually pushes this to a conclusion. Ill informed, you will not be able to make responsible decisions regarding your future.
Get the full facts.
If you wish to resolve this you will need to take charge of the situation.

BTW, I thought Con Ed dealt with electricity, not gas?
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