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Landlord dragging feet on numerous repairs

Posted by Ehren on September 26, 2000 at 16:49:20:

I apologize for the length of this post, but it only serves to illustrate my point...just skip to MY QUESTIONS at the bottom if you don't want all the gory details.

The following problems were determined to be present in our Bay Ridge, Brooklyn apartment when we moved in on August 19, 2000:

Water damage to living room wall, bathroom wall, bedroom wall and ceiling, resolved Sept. 21
Sickening odors associated with water damage (which lasted for approximately two weeks)
Holes in walls where mice could enter the apartment, resolved Sept. 22
Mice in kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, closets, and living room, resolved Sept. 22
Damaged refrigerator, resolved Sept. 21
No smoke detector, resolved Sept. 15
Bedroom door unable to close, resolved Sept. 8
Only partial electricity in the living room, resolved Sept. 25
No electricity in one bedroom (unresolved)
Only partial electricity in the second bedroom (unresolved)
Peeling paint on inside of front door (unresolved)
Numerous large scratches in the paint on outside of front door (unresolved)

The following problems were caused by my landlord's efforts to correct the aforementioned problems (all done by hired contractors or the super):

In repairing the water damage, contractors scraped paint and plaster from the ceilings and walls, without covering up any furniture in the apartment. Clouds of dust filled the living room and both bedrooms, and a fine white dust settled on all surfaces, including beds, tables, our sofa, and our children's toys. This resulted in a filthy, dusty apartment that required extensive cleaning when repairs were complete. It also posed a potential lead hazard, since many layers of paint were removed and exposed in the process.
Plaster was applied to ceilings and walls before the underlying surface was dry. This resulted in peeling and cracking plaster, necessitating additional scraping, plastering, drying and painting (and additional inconvenience and messes for us to endure).
In the process of fixing water damaged rooms and sealing off mouse holes, laborers tracked water, dirt, dust, plaster, paint, and cement throughout the apartment, dulling the finish on the hardwood floors and discoloring it in several places. What was once a shiny, polished floor is now dull and tarnished.
In the process of repairing the bedroom door, the super scraped paint off of the door and the doorframe. When this was pointed out to the landlord, the super returned and painted the affected areas, but in a different shade of white. We have since re-painted the door ourselves.
In an effort to repair problems with electricity, the contracted electrician cut several large holes (10" x 10") in the ceilings of the bathroom and the kitchen. He still did not fix the electrical problems, and he told us that the super could repair the holes. The super insists it is not his job.


1. The landlord has agreed to credit me a week's rent, plus an additional $300. Am I entitled to more (considering the duration of most of these problems)?
2. Problems persist, notably the absence of electricity in half of the apartment. The landlord continues to promise a resolution, but nothing is happening. Can I complain to DHCR or somebody like that?
3. Is the landlord obligated to fix peeling paint (my building is quite old and probably has layers of lead paint below the outer coat)?
4. Who pays for damages incurred by contractors and the super (ie, damaged floors, holes in the ceiling)?

It's clear to us that this apartment was not fit to be moved into, considering the huge problems we have had in getting anything repaired. Any ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated!

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