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Re: Flooring: Hardly Accurate Advice

Posted by TenantNet on November 12, 2000 at 21:20:28:

In Reply to: Flooring: More Accurate Advice posted by Ken on November 12, 2000 at 20:50:57:

We removed your prior message because it was peppered with anti-regulation trolling, something you have been warned about.

As for the substance of this message, you are wrong in several areas. First, any application would go to the state, not the city (DHCR is a state agency and there's a big difference). Second, it's the RSA that's in control of DHCR, not the bureaucrats. Some of the so-called bureaucrats have recently even gone public against DHCR's illegal policies. Third, it the context of an individual apartment improvement, there would be no application at all. Applications are made for building'wide MCI's, not not for individual apartment improvements. Those are just taken by the landlord subject to a challenge by the tenant.

But your incorrect advice is also based on your anti-tenant predisposition. If you examine case law, this "floating" floor would not neccessarily become a required service because it is not affixed to the building. The owner can easily remove it between tenancies (if the tenant doesn't do it when he moves out) and not be further liable. A number of cases involving tenant-installed security gates have a similar basis. If he removes them after the tenant moves out, he's not liable, but if he keeps them and re-rents the unit with the gates, it becomes a provided service. It's basically within the owner's pervue. I could even see the owner going after the old tenant for not removing it.

This issue is about interlocking pieces of wood that are not affixed to the unit. Sort of a rigid rug. Does the tenant have the right to put this in? Our view is that he does. It causes no damage or waste (actually it protects the owner's underlying floor) and the owner's objection is absurd and hypothetical.

: While some others have posted about installing a "floating" floor, no one has posted the facts as to why the landlord would oppose such an improvement, and possible remedies so that he will.

: The reason he opposes installing the floor has to do with the rent stabilization system in New York. Becuase the apartment is stabilized, the owner is required to keep and maintain any improvements in the apartment from one tenant to the next. What's the problem here ? Well given that the rents he charges are fixed, he is not going to want to take on the additional responsibility of maintaining a better floor. A future tenant could demand that it be fixed or replaced if it were to wear down. This is why rent stabilized and controlled apartments seldom receive the level of maintainance that free market apartments do. The landlord has absolutely no incentive to do anything beyond the bare minimums required by law.

: A possible remedy to this is for the tenant to request that the landlord install such a floor, at the landlord's expense, as a "major capital improvement" to the apartment. The landlord would apply to the city for permission to do this (burocrats are the only ones in "control" under rent control/stabilization). Assuming everything is OK, the work would be done and the tenant's rent would increase by 1/40th of the cost. This would spare the tenant the expense of installing a floor himself, an expense he otherwise wouldn't recoup, and makes particular sense if the tenant is contemplating moving out within the next five years.

: I posted this message before, but it was deleted (censored ?) by TenantNet. If it was censored, it is telling that tenant net attempts to squelch intelligent discussion. Makes you wonder what its "agenda" really is.

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