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Heat Problem

Posted by Ann on October 31, 2000 at 11:07:57:

I live in a rent controlled building in Washington Heights. I have a written lease, there are 10 units in the building. On the night of October 30, 2000 it was 43 Fahrenheit at 10:00 pm. The apartment we live in did not have heat or hot water. After unsuccessfully attempting to contact the super using his beeper number the landlord was contacted. The landlord explained that the boiler was repaired on Monday (there was a sign posted on the front door to the that effect) but that the company contracted to do work on the boiler had not completed the job and was contacted at 4:00 pm to finish the remaining work. He went on to explain that the company had 24 hours to make the repair unless it was an emergency. It was requested that he call them and explain that it was an emergency as the temperature had dropped below 55 Fahrenheit and that he call the tenants when the repairs were completed. Unfortunately this did not occur. He refused to make such a call. At 6:45 am on October 31, 2000 the temperature was 45 Fahrenheit outside and the apartment still lacked heat and hot water. I called the Department of Housing Preservation and Development who encouraged me to file a complaint. But, I am worried about retaliation from a landlord who has so far been exremely unresponsive to other problems in the apartment - and was quite threatening last night when I spoke to him. The problem of spordic heat and hot water has been a continuing one throughout October, although I have unfortunately not recorded inside and outside temperatures. We are often freezing in our apartment. What can I do in situation? What is my best recourse?

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