Q: I reside in a rent-stabilized condominium in a medium-measurement, prewar constructing in Brooklyn. A few of months ago, the ceiling in my shower started leaking. Then, a chunk of the ceiling above the leak collapsed. The super lined the gap with cardboard but never ever really mounted the leak or ceiling. I have referred to as several occasions, and he always suggests “tomorrow” but in no way fixes it. I have also named management two times and sent shots. The wall looks to be getting moldy. The cardboard is commencing to fall aside. What must I do?
A: There is pretty a good deal you can do. Get started by calling 311 to request an inspection from the Department of Housing Preservation and Advancement. An inspector would most very likely difficulty a violation, which may not resolve your dilemma instantly but would produce a paper path of proof.
“In general, finding violations put doesn’t do a lot,” said Samuel J. Himmelstein, a Manhattan law firm who represents tenants. “Landlords will almost never reply.”
At the identical time, file what is acknowledged as an HP continuing in housing court docket. It is in essence a lawsuit submitted against the landlord, whereby you question the courtroom to purchase the repairs. “This is the quickest way to get it accomplished,” Mr. Himmelstein reported. These conditions are likely to transfer rapidly, and the landlord usually settles and agrees to the repairs.
This course of action should really unquestionably get your ceiling set. Resolving the mould may well be more complex. Mould remediation is not low cost and can sometimes be intensive. You would will need to prove that you have mould, and your photographs alone will not be ample. You would also have to seek the services of your own qualified to establish the extent of the problem and make suggestions for remediation, Mr. Himmelstein said. Mildew can pose serious wellbeing potential risks, so, if you are concerned about it, you might want to take this additional stage.
You ought to also be entitled to a rent abatement for this interval of time. Start out by asking the landlord for one particular. If your request is rebuffed — as it almost certainly will be — you can withhold lease fully. If the landlord took you to housing court docket for nonpayment, your protection would be that the circumstances violated your warranty of habitability, a point out rule. You would eventually have to pay out back again some of the rent for that period of time, but not all of it.
Even so, after your ceiling is repaired, you may make a decision that the hire abatement is not well worth the headache of yet another working day in court docket.
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