Posted by DK on January 18, 1999 at 12:41:08:
In Reply to: Coop Board posted by Michele Finley on January 18, 1999 at 00:35:41:
Coop rules are binding on the rent stabilized tenants if they are "reasonable" and do not conflict with the law. The warranty of habitability law, Real Property Law 235-b, provides that implied in every lease is a provision that the apartment will be habitable. If the conditions in the apartment interfere with habitability, they the tenant is entitled to a rent abatement, the difference between the value of the apartment with the required services and without the required services. The warranty of habitability can not be waived in a lease agreement.
The person to whom you pay your rent is responsible for any rent abatement to which you are entitled because of a breach of the warranty of habitability. Whether your landlord can recover that amount from the coop will depend on the language of the proprietary lease whether the repair was the coop's responsibility or the shareholder's responsibility. That issue is really not your concern.
If your property was damaged, the law of negligence applies. You are entitled to compensation only if you can show that your landlord or the coop had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition which caused the damage. They are not responsible for compensating you for a mere "accident" which no reasonable person could have anticipated.
If the damage arose because the coop failed to respond within a reasonable time, or because the coop failed to take reasonable precautions in maintaining the plumbing, then you would be entitled to recover from them. If your damage is less than $3,000 you can file in small claims court. It's a very simple and inexpensive procedure.
: I am a rent stablized tenant in a coop building that was converted years after I moved in. The board says I must obey "coop rules". Is this true? Also, there was a leak in my bathroom ceiling that originated in pipes not located within my apartment and some of my personal property was ruined. The board fixed the leak after a 2 day delay but says they are not responsible for paying for the damage to my property according to "coop rules". Is all this true?
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