Posted by John on February 06, 2000 at 01:26:04:
In Reply to: No heat/hot water - Should I withhold rent? Help! posted by Doug on February 05, 2000 at 22:37:25:
They will in fact deliberately ignore you until you give them plenty of reason to file for eviction based on Nonpayment.
I understand that this is a long time to go without services however
if a landlord is doing what he can to repair a hot water or heat problem you cannot withhold any amount of payment. NYC's infrastructure is archaic. Amazingly enough most buildings burn oil. This is only one step above coal, the heat source is unreliable and messy, not to mention expensive. Most housing court judges are sympathetic to this. And recently the price of oil has skyrocketed causing shortages, in some cases building owners haven't even been able to get oil. (the price has more then doubled from .80 a gallon to 1.80) You should never blatantly withhold monies, bring the matter up with the management agency or the landlord, often they are willing to meet you in the middle.
If the problem is chronic then you may have a reduction of services claim. Which would lead to a reduction of rent.
If a landlord is deliberately shutting off the heat and hot water then you can file harassment charges. If it is a mechanical failure it is not likely a housing court judge will add to a landlords grief and out of money pocket (for the repairs) by forcing a landlord to compensate tenants for something that was not their fault.
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