Posted by TenantNet on December 06, 1998 at 12:45:34:
In Reply to: Windows falling off of 28th-floor apartment-HELP!! posted by Yuko on November 27, 1998 at 00:54:53:
: This is a rather complicated story. We have been in this apartment for 5 years as sub-tenants of a co-op building in Manhattan. About 1 year ago we had trouble with leaking in the ceiling above the windows. The plaster was coming off and we had a tough time getting anyone to do something about this. Anyway as it turned out the entire front of the building was to be re-done in the vicinity of our floor. It is a 60 plus year- old building and the co-op board decided it was time to do this work so in Sept. the removal of the old bricks was began. Here is where the REAL problems started. Within a few days our windows were loose from the foundation-frames and all!! They are casement windows so they are heavy and all that is holding them from crashing to the street 28 floors below are a few ropes. Not only this but without the seals on the windows the concrete and plaster dust and chunks of brick came into the apartment soiling every thing, stereo, tv,couch, clothes etc.... We had no idea it was going to take as long as it has. I had to leave this apartment, since i have very bad allergies to dust, and I informed the super, but when I came back after 2 months it is still not done and unbelievably, the other window is completely off the foundation, and both windows are covered with plastic sheets.This is pretty bad remedy for a major problem. It is November. Now the cold comes in along with the dust. These plastic sheets do little good. I am suffering from the dust. We realize that this work has to be done, but this is making the apartment uninhabitable. It has continued with virtually no improvement for the last 3 month. Since we aren't the owners we have no power and have to appeal to the owner to speak to the management.We can't stand this any longer, and feel it is ridiculous to pay full rent for place that is unrentable. Is there anything within our rights that we should demand from the management company. For example, have them pay for our stay in a hotel until the repair is done. Please advise!!!
If you think the windows are dangerous (and there's no sidewalk shed below),
call the Buildings Dept ASAP, your local community board and councilmember
and get the situation safe. If you are renters, you are entitled to a
habitable premises. If they are not proceeding with the repairs with due
diligence (it does not take months to replace windows), then you are
probably entitled to an abatement. You do have rights. If you wish to pursue this, speak with a lawyer. You may be entitled to an abatement for the period the place is uninhabitable (i.e., constuctive eviction) plus your costs for hotels, meals, etc. It really depends on the facts, so don't get too many hopes up. No matter what, do not let them order you around like that.
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