Posted by Anna on May 06, 2000 at 09:45:11:
In Reply to: Recurrent water damage posted by Fran on April 23, 2000 at 22:25:21:
: I live in a rental building in Manhattan (built in 1989, no doorman). I have been living in this building for 7 years; the landlord imposes 2-year leases on all tenants. For several years, I have had water damage in my alcove studio: leaks on walls (living room, bathroom, kitchen), inside closets, etc. After extensive water damage, the landlord repainted my apartment about 2 years ago (but my rent went up by $270/month when I had to renew the lease)The water problem is apparently due to a problem with the construction and I was told by the Landlord that they repair each time there is a problem but so far, they have not been able to fix it permanently. For the past few months, water leaks inside my walls have gotten worse. I am afraid to use some of the electrical plugs because the wall is wet. Today, for the first time I got another leak inside a closet where I had important documents and photos that got totally soaked. I never know where the next leak will occur. My lease is expiring on Dec 1, 2000. I would like to leave before that. Can I use this water damage issue to break my lease?
The easiest ways to 'break a lease' in NYS is to 'sublet' or 'assign', or to try to. In your case, it might be difficult to find a new tenant if you're honest about the water pipe problems, and you do need to be honest.
If the problem is serious enough, a judge (after you move out and get sued by your landlord for the balance of your lease) might agree that your landlord evicted you already: 'contructive eviction', but don't count on it.
Call HPD 960-4800 24/7 immediately after calling your landlord next time it leaks, or now if the damaged wall is not repaired. Request an inspection: a recorded violation might help get the problem resolved faster and will help in any lawsuit.
Read about tenants rights and responsibilities: http://www.tenant.net/nyc.html
Search on this board, on TN Home, and on TN Housing Court Decisions for more info on the terms used ' '.
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