Posted by TenantNet on January 13, 1997 at 15:24:36:
In Reply to: apartment fixtures posted by Anonymous on January 13, 1997 at 08:28:47:
: Could you please help clarify the lagalities of a situation I am in.
: It involves a rent stabilized building in Manhattan and is actually a
: dispute among tenants.
As much as possible, we try not to get involved in disputes between tenants.
: I sublet my apartment and returned to find fixtures from the apartment
: missing--a set of french doors. The sublet ended on bad terms so that I
: have no cooperation from the subtenant. I have learned though that he
: gave the doors to my neighbor--I had one of the only apartments with the
: original fixtures.
: I don't anticipate my neighbor's cooperation in returning them. And have
: not yet approached the landlord.
You could ask the neighbor -- you never know.
: Can you please tell me what apartment fixtures are when it comes to
: property property rights? Are they "mine" and can I legally get them back? Obviously my
: lease does not specify that I had doors and she did not. IF, the landlord
: is willing to intervene, does he have the right to simply remove them? Can I be
: responsible for them at the end of my lease?
Well they don't belong to you if they came with the unit. But they might be
considered a required service. A door can be a required service, but a
particular style might not (that depends). But as the doors were removed
by a subtenant (ostensibly under your control), it would be difficult to
claim that the owner reduced the service. I would think you could be held
responsible, but if you take steps to retrieve them -- ask the tenant in person
first, then in writing, then notifying the landlord, you might make a case
that your responsibility ended. Depends on the landlord and you have to go
with your experience with this landlord. Most landlords don't care what's
in their apartments, especially in NYC. If they did, why would they let
their buildings rot? They make healthy profits, even with rent regulation.
: And is this a small claims case or a more serious case of pocession of
: stolen property?
No, it's not yours.
: I know it sounds this all sounds crazy but these fixtures are impossible
: to replace and are what makes a crumby apartment a little more livable.
I understand your concern, but you don't have much to go on other than asking.
If the sublet was legal with the owner's permission, you might try to
ask him to intervene, but try diplomacy first.
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