TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



Rent abatement due to paint delay

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

Moderator: TenantNet

Rent abatement due to paint delay

Postby Gabanyica55 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:55 pm

I’m in a rent stabilized apartment where the management is obliged to paint every 3 years. Mine was done more than 6 years ago. I approached them 6 weeks ago and requested the dates; they suggested a week later so I went along . I arranged the furniture in the middle and the painters didn’t show up. The LL claims the contractors refuse to do it and now they have to find a new contractor who would give them an estimate that he can approve of. In the meantime, I cannot use my apartment, let alone work from it. I believe the Ll is being cheap by not willing to accept the contractor ‘s estimate . I am worried this stalemate can go on indefinitely. I’m planning on deducting the number of days I cannot use my apartment from the rent. Is that legal?
Gabanyica55
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:34 pm

Re: Rent abatement due to paint delay

Postby TenantNet » Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:04 pm

Well we don't know how bad the current conditions are in your apartment. Needing a paint job (dirty walls and some chipped paint) does not always mean the place in uninhabitable. It has to be fact-specific. OTOH, if walls and ceilings are caving in, well that's an obvious violation of the warranty of habitability. Take plenty of photos and get violations placed if you think the LL is playing games.

Did you have an actual confirmed appointment with the LL? Moving furniture when the painters don't show is an annoyance, but I don't think it's actionable, at least at the beginning. If it happens repeatedly, then that calls for more drastic action.

Legally, the requirement to paint is not contingent on the cost. They must do it. But be aware some LLs will use very cheap paint (almost whitewash), and the painters are told to do the entire apartment within an afternoon. You can't do a quality job in such a short time. I've seen painters paint over light switches and electric plugs as if they weren't there.

What some tenants do is make a deal with the LL where the LL pays for the paint (you pick a good quality) and you do the work on your own schedule. That's not good for seniors, but for younger tenants it's an option.

Deducting the number of days the LL procrastinates may get you in a larger pickle. You would have to withhold rent, be taken to court on a non-pay and use that as a defense. It depends on how bad the conditions are and believe me, judges will give LLs all sorts of leeway. You could file an HP Proceeding to get them to do the work, but they can't award you money in such a case.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9784
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Rent abatement due to paint delay

Postby Gabanyica55 » Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:33 pm

Thank you. At this point , I would hire someone to do it, but could I deduct it
T from the rent?
Gabanyica55
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:34 pm

Re: Rent abatement due to paint delay

Postby Gabanyica55 » Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:35 pm

Is The fact that he said the contractor “refused” to do it, proof that they are trying to find the cheapest contractor but in the meantime, how long can they go looking while I have no use of my place?
Gabanyica55
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:34 pm

Re: Rent abatement due to paint delay

Postby TenantNet » Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:28 pm

Can you prove the contractor refused? How? Did they give a reason? Are you vaccinated and wear masks? I would demand that from a contractor, but I think that goes both ways. If you go down that road, you might be heading for court and all the craziness. Look for simple solutions.

What do you mean you have no use of your place? It may need painting, but how does that prevent you from living, eating and sleeping there? You didn't answer this and other questions from above.

The law simply says the LL must paint every three years, or when needed. You can always make deals with the LL where you do the work and buy good quality paint, and he pays for it. But get that in writing. I would not "deduct" it from the rent as the LL might claim you haven't paid the full rent. Make it a separate transaction. They will want receipts if you buy the paint. Include the cost of brushes, rollers, drop cloths and everything else, and if you don't know how, watch many videos on Youtube on how to paint rooms.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9784
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Rent abatement due to paint delay

Postby Gabanyica55 » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:49 pm

Thank you for the answer. I have no proof, of course, but now I had another contractor come to “assess” and I’m waiting for the management to approve. My question is : do they have a legal obligation to perform the painting within a certain time after it was formally requested? I have no use of my apartment because all the furniture is pushed in the middle, with all the stuff and I cannot work from home.
Gabanyica55
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:34 pm

Re: Rent abatement due to paint delay

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:01 pm

No time frame, but you can always file with DHCR (not recommended) or file a HP Action in court where the judge will a) have an inspection, b) place a violation if needed, and c) give the LL a certain time to do the work. That's often 30 days.

I would not bring in your own person without written permission by the LL and the LL's statement they will cover the cost. That usually will not happen. But if you try to have the work done yourself and take it out of the rent (known as "repair and deduct'), some judges will not go along with that.

Your contractor can submit a quote to the LL, but it's the LL's decision.

Then take the furniture and push it back where it belongs. What are you thinking? Geez! That's good for a day or two, but not for longer. Don't use that as an excuse.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9784
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City


Return to NYC Rent Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 12 guests