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Re: Can I deduct rent for days without heat

Posted by DK on January 13, 1999 at 19:09:36:

In Reply to: Can I deduct rent for days without heat posted by frozen and mad on January 13, 1999 at 16:24:41:

Unless your lease gives you greater rights, the warrant of habitability (Real Property Law 235-b) gives you the right to a rent abatement which is the difference between the value of the apartment with the service and without the service. In general, it is my experience that housing court judges will generally award about half of the rent for the time when a tenant does not receive heat during the winter. Therefore, if you did not receive heat for 10 days, then an abatement equal to about 5 days rent would be a fair settlement.

If you cannot reach a settlement, the landlord can sue you in housing court and the judge will decide the rent abatement. If you don't want to deal with a non-payment proceeding in housing court, you can pay the rent and then sue the landlord in small claims court.

Obviously, I have suggested a 50% rent abatement as a rule of thumb. Ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide the amount which you would be entitled to receive as compensation for the lack of this essential service.

: For about 10 days during coldest part of the year I had no heat in apartment and had to run around staying with different friends each night. This not only disrupted my life but cost me a lot of money in transportation costs.
: Am I allowed to deduct rent for those days? The lease has a line which says that I do not have to pay rent for time in which apt is unusable. What is the proper procedure here?

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