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Re: this is not a housing court issue

Posted by EGH on July 27, 2000 at 14:31:03:

In Reply to: this is not a housing court issue posted by peter on July 27, 2000 at 02:45:44:

I do not agree that this is not a housing court issue.
The landlord is responsible for leaks from one apartment
into another, for dealing with those leaks, and for
making repairs. Forcing a landlord to make repairs
is a housing court issue. It really doesn't matter
if the leak was caused by a washing machine or not --
that's not the downstairs tenants' headache. It's
the landlord's headache. Having that headache is the
service the landlord provides in exchange for rent.

If the landlord sues you in housing court for withholding
rent to obtain repairs, he will doubtless say that the
leak is not his responsibility because it is caused
by another tenant. A tenant should ignore this line
of argument, and take the attitude that a leak is the
responsibility of an owner no matter what the cause.
A tenant can obtain a rental abatement in housing court
for the reduced value of a damaged apartment.

However, housing court is not a good place to complain
about damage to personal property. To recover damages
for that, the best alternative (after asking the landlord
nicely to reimburse you -- sometimes it works!) is to take
him to small claims court. Your attitude in small
claims court should be that a landlord is responsible
for dealing with leaks that damage a tenant's property.

: First it is not neccasarily illegal for the tenant upstairs to have a washer. Upgrading an apartments utilities may not be illegal, they could make the case they are disabled and need the washer, and so on. If the washer was not installed by the landlord he is not accountable for it and if the landlord has notified the tenant that the washer is causing damage and the tenant refuses to repair this situation....hello....obviously your proplem is with the tenant. The landlord has enough proplems, because he/she is obviously responsible for the property damage done to thier own property. Our we would be reading another complaint on this very message board of a ruthless landlord who forced his way into my apartment and removed my washer, claiming that it was leaking. And we would all yell, sue the bastard!!

: This is a small claims issue between you and the tenant above you. Withold rent and prepare yourself to be given non-payment eviction notices. The landlords notice to you is accurate, take them to court and be prepared to pay thier legal expenses. Particularly if he sent a certified letter to your upstairs neighbor.

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