Posted by TenantNet on October 27, 1996 at 11:52:16:
In Reply to: gas & hot water posted by AK on October 27, 1996 at 07:46:55:
: The gas (for ovens) in our building has been off for over a month. A hazardous condition was found in the building's pipes by the city/ con edison when they were doing street work. Can we withhold rent and/or request a rent reduction for the cost and inconvenience of not being able to cook at home for over a month!Also, the hot water in the building goes off at least twice a month, usually for at least one or two days. We have to page the Super to get him to fix it. He is not always available, or just doesn't answer his pager. What are our rights?
Con Ed is responsible for supplying gas to the building. You should call
them to let them know the gas is off. Demand a crew comes out. You should
get them to indicate if the problem is in their supply pipe or elsewhere.
They may tell you the owner has not repaired things on his side of the
connection (which is why they might have turned off the gas), or they
may tell you that the problem was fixed and the owner is just not finishing up.
Conn Ed is pretty good about making repairs right away, especially if it
involves potentially hazardous conditions. As a building (or as a group of tenants)
call and write the owner (certified mail) and let him know he will get no
rent until the problem is fixed. Document the problem. Call the city
complaint line 960-4800 and demand they call the owner. They have his phone number
even if they deny it. Get the operator number. (if nothing else this is to
make a paper trail). Also let the owner know you will file service reduction,
Heat/Hot Water (HHW) and harassment complaints with DHCR. DHCR will do nothinng for you
as they are very cozy with landlords, but you will force the owner downtown.
Above all, if not already, get your building organized.
Keep it in escrow.
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