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landlord does not wish to do a repair

Posted by Samala Francis on January 30, 2002 at 00:04:13:

I live in a non rent-stabilized apartment in a family's brownstone. They only rent out one of the floors to me and they occupy the other two floors. I do have a lease. When I moved in to the premises, there was a working doorbell that rang for the house in general. About a month to two months ago it stopped working. I asked the landlord to repair it about two and a half weeks ago. I have not talked to them directly, but my boyfriend said they don't wish to repair it but want to talk to me about it since my name is the one on the lease. Before I talk to them I want to know my rights. There is no way of knowing that anyone is outside knocking because I face the back of the brownstone and the doors are very heavy so they block out much of the sound coming from downstairs. I can't have visitors unless I escort them and if someone gets locked out knocking does no good. I know that one of the landlord's family members has even been locked out and tried knocking on the front door of the brownstone, when I was home, but of course I could not hear anything...they asked me later on if I was home and told me what happened..this was before I complained. What can I do if they don't wish to repair it..can I withold rent?

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