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Restaurant kitchen rooftop exhaust fan

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Restaurant kitchen rooftop exhaust fan

Postby Andrew44 » Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:09 pm

Hello I have a question about a restaurant kitchen rooftop exhaust fan. I occupy an apartment above a restaurant and for several months there has been a new issue with the exhaust fan on the roof above me. There is an excessive vibration coming from the fan that permeates the walls and is like a tremor going on for 15 hours a day. Important to note it’s not so much noisy in the apartment as a vibration. I’ve tried respectfully to get the restaurant owner on several occasions to get it fixed but I’ve been given the runaround and the situation has become acrimonious.
Is the restaurant owner or the building owner responsible for the exhaust fan? And if I make an official complaint to the building department to force them to fix it are there rules in place to stop the building owner landlord from retaliating and trying to get me out of the apartment? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Re: Restaurant kitchen rooftop exhaust fan

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:50 pm

In general, exhaust chimneys from restaurants must snake up the sides of buildings (or via internal chimneys) and go at least three feet above the height of the building's parapet. These regulations are in the building code, and perhaps in the supplements at the end of the code. Look for references to "open receptors." That means if there is are windows in an adjacent building that is higher, and if the distance between the end of the chimney and the windows is equal to or less than the distance specified, then the LL must make the chimney higher.

My experience with this is for a building's chimney for a building's boiler, soot and gas fumes (and the distance depends on the type of fuel used), not for food exhaust. So all this might not apply for food exhaust, but look into it. The NYC Dept of AIr Resources also has jurisdiction in addition to the Buildings Dept.

Your problem seem be with the generated noise. This is common. I had to listen to the noise coming from a chimney used as food exhaust in a nearby building. It took constant complaining. But we kept raising the ante with more and more complaints. The restaurant owner and building owner kept pointing fingers at leach other. In the end, I didn't care and complained to both. Ultimately I think it's the building owner, but any violations will be passed on to the commercial tenants. You just want the noise to stop.

Are there other tenants equally annoyed by all this? I'd work together putting on more pressure. Don't let them portray you as the bad person; they are.

You might consider withholding rent. But be careful.

There is an anti-retaliation statute. See https://law.justia.com/codes/new-york/2 ... e-7/223-b/

But I've never seen it actually used and it only holds for six months.

I would deal directly with the agency's commissioner's office, and avoid calling 311. That's essentially a joke.
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Re: Restaurant kitchen rooftop exhaust fan

Postby Andrew44 » Thu Jul 08, 2021 8:21 pm

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately the other apartment that is affected by this is rented to someone who for whatever reason is never here so it’s just me and that limits the power of numbers. Yes they are definitely trying to make me out to be the problem and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re complaining to the building owner about my complaints behind my back. But any objective person and certainly an inspector would say that the vibration is excessive and needs to be fixed.
The landlord/building owner is known for not being responsive to fixing things (cheap) and retaliatory when official complaints are made to government entities.
I do not want to move though due to chronic health issues and not being able to find better location then what I have now so I guess I’m between a rock and a hard place.
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