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Getting bathroom painted before three years

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

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Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby Rosita » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:27 pm

I signed my lease in April 2016 and I understand I am entitled to new painting every three years. However the bathroom was painted with a hideous cheap paint which is cracking and peeling in several areas, plus there is mold on the ceiling which I have a hard time cleaning. Am I within my rights to request a new paint job now instead of waiting until next spring? I would also like to have a better paint used which I don't mind paying for, in a less grotesque color, but I don't think I should have to pay for the painter too. I am a senior and don't think I am physically capable of painting it myself. Thank you.
Rosita
 
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Re: Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:39 pm

Maintenance and repairs are required for both RS and unregulated tenants, however being RS gives you the option of complaining to DHCR (we don't recommend that).

The Housing Maintenance Code requires painting every three years OR SOONER if it's needed. So if the current state of the paint job is in need of redoing, then you have that right. Mold is a different issue and should be remediated before any new painting, otherwise it will come back.

First, take photos, lots of them, and in different lights, daylight as well as electric light.

Start by notifying the LL by cert mail of the condition and need for painting. Demand a real job, not the 20 minute fake painting using whitewash.

Some LLs will reimburse you for the cost of paint if you do the painting yourself. The LL saves labor costs and you can control the quality of the job, and which paint to use. You don't have to do that, but it's an option to ask for.

If not able, then the LL is required to do the job. There are options you can pursue if he refuses or drags his feet, including filing a HP action or rent strike. But start out documenting the need and request.
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Re: Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby Rosita » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:06 am

Thank you. Another question: I was told if I wanted to use my own paint in place of the hideous Frankenstein green shade they use, I will have to not only buy the paint but also pay a $30 fee per room. Is this even legal? My bathroom is so small it could be painted in half a day.
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Re: Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby TenantNet » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:15 am

No that's not legal as it would be considered an illegal overcharge.

What I've seen (what I mentioned above) is that you buy the paint (usually white or off-white), you do the work and they reimburse you the cost of the paint and materials up to a set limit. Check your lease, it usually says something about restoring the color of paint when you move out, and I've even seen occasional clauses that limit what color you can paint.

Sounds like the LL is just being a jerk. I'd make them do the work and make sure they remediate the mold prior to painting. Get a violation placed.
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Re: Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby Rosita » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:30 am

In order to get a violation placed, do I call 311? If I take them to court on an HP action it will cost me more than $30.
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Re: Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby TenantNet » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:36 am

Yes call 311. But you can also file a HP action in Housing Court and they will send an inspector, probably a lot sooner than 311 would. For HP actions, you can proceed as a "poor person" and they will waive the fee. All you have to do is sign an affidavit on that. The clerks will walk you through it.

I would notify the LL in writing of the bad condition - pointing out the mold problem - after you've taken many photos.

You probably will want the violation placed ahead of time as the LL might paint over the mold and there would be no violation placed.
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Re: Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby Sky » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:47 pm

LL's paint bathrooms in semi-gloss (or even glossy!) paint so that they are durable, easy to clean, repel water, and are bombproof. The high sheen highlights every single imperfection in the dozens of layers of paint.

"I would also like to have a better paint used which I don't mind paying for, in a less grotesque color"


If you have seriously gross bathroom walls that have been sloppily painted over a million times over the decades and if you have mold here's a suggestion. You might check into a bathroom specific paint, they're expensive but you need very little for a small bathroom. Good paint costs more for good reason (superior resins and pigments); likewise cheap paint costs less for a reason (inferior resins and pigments + huge percentage of fillers) and thus performs poorly.

Zinsser makes Perma-White in eggshell finish. Benjamin Moore sells Bath & Spa paint (#532). The latter is a very high quality paint, has a very good and expensive mildewcide, it's resins are highly hydroscopic making it less susceptible to general staining and helps prevent water stains, cleans well, plus it covers well and doesn't require a primer .. 1-2 coats should be sufficient. It only comes in a matte sheen so will mask many defects instead of highlighting them so walls will look less like gross shiny prison walls, a basement boiler room, or a mental asylum.

In a bathroom and kitchen you need to clean the walls very well before painting (with something like Krud Kutter, TSP, etc) because they get contaminated. You also have to remove any mold/mildew before painting and it's a good idea to put a stain blocking primer down in stained areas or areas perviously damaged by water leaks. Any loose, cracking, or peeling paint needs to be scraped off or will create bonding issues causing new layers of paint to fail. The loose cracked paint might also contain lead if the building is beyond a certain age.

Legalities and TenantNet's very good advice aside ... if you're willing to buy a can of good bathroom paint, you could ask the LL to send a guy to scrape the loose and cracking paint, clean the mold and walls, ask them to buy a small can of decent stain blocker (they likely have some on hand as many LL's use it to conceal bigger problems), and apply 1-2 top coats of your good paint. In the final analysis, this may be cheaper (less of your time and money), less aggravating (no legal headaches, reporting agencies, etc), more hygienic, look much better, and last longer than any solution the landlord volunteers or is compelled to perform by a court of law.

One last thing: if the bathroom doesn't have sufficient ventilation (i.e. no window, or a less than adequate fan) you're very likely to get mold and mildew. No paint can remedy an inadequately vented bathroom.

Good luck with whatever solution you go with.
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Re: Getting bathroom painted before three years

Postby Rosita » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:45 pm

This paint is shiny but it sure is not water repellent. I had to put in my own self stick backsplashes in both kitchen and bathroom after a couple of months because of the water damage from just normal sink usage.
Thanks for the recommendations. I took a few pics and will show them to the management office.
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