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Re: Rent Abatement

Posted by TenantNet on November 18, 1997 at 09:00:02:

In Reply to: Rent Abatement posted by Peter McGill on November 14, 1997 at 09:57:02:

: I live on the 5th, and top, floor of a 7 apartment building. The ceiling
: of our apartment is leaking in about 5 places. In fact, I have a rug that
: was ruined and my roommate has been forced to sleep on the couch because
: one of the leaks is over his bed. Also, there is a leak in the living
: room which is over one of the couches, so we will not be able to sit on it
: either. What I want to know is, can we abate rent due to these inconveniences?
: Our lease says that we an only abate rent for "unusable" space. But i think
: that we could make a case that a good portion of our apartment is unusable.
: By the way, the roof leaked five days ago, and we told the landlord and
: super and nothing was done about it. We are planning on not paying rent
: until it gets fixed, and then we won't pey the back rent, citing the
: "unusable" clause.

I'm assuming you're in NYC. This violates the "warrranty of habitability"
law. Some lease provisions are against the law and unenforceable. I wouldn't
worry about "unusable space" given your description of the problem. What
matters is that the problem is making the place uninhabitable, and is
probably in violation. Document the problem, take photos, get an
inspection, notify the owner and read the court section on the web site.

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