Posted by Karen Manfield on August 24, 1999 at 20:56:36:
I recently moved into a very expensive garden apartment in a brownstone.
The landlords live upstairs, but they spend most of the summer at their second
home in Connecticut.
We have repeatedly asked our landlords to paint the apartment.
The paint is different colors in some places, as if someone had painted around
furniture. It is also chipped in the corners of the hallways, and the prior
tenants left holes in the walls that will need to be painted after they are
spackled. There is water damage has caused black mold that cannot be cleaned,
and made the paint in that area crack in several places (they have said they
would take care of that, but apparently they do not plan even to make an
appointment to have anyone look at it until after we have been in the apt for
five weeks). The landlords said they might have someone "touch it up", and
when we said "no it just needs to be painted completely" they started putting
us off. They keep telling us they will look at it "later" or "after our
vacation" which will not end until we have been in the apt for 5 weeks. We
suggested getting it done while they were gone, but they say they have a guy
who always does it and knows what color to use (although the contrasting paint
colors belies this argument).
Does the landlord of a two-family dwelling have any obligation to paint on a
regular basis? I know that a multifamily dwelling requires painting every
three years; am I just screwed because it's just two families, or is there some
general principle of landlord-tenant law that implies an obligation to paint?
If I paint, is there any chance they could charge me for repainting on the
grounds that I didn't use the color they like to use that allows them to
"touch up" the paint instead of repainting completely? (It's some white color)
Also, how quickly can I expect them to fix the water damage, which is clearly
a dangerous condition that needs to be corrected?
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