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Can I sue the landlord if they treat me unfairly?

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

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Can I sue the landlord if they treat me unfairly?

Postby cuecue123 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:34 am

I'm a resident in NYC. My roommate and I were away from here for a month(we have the valid evidence), but the landlord said they got complaint about the noise we made at about two weeks ago, so we have to install carpet to over 80% of the floor(which is super expensive). It is impossible for us to make such noises when we were not here. And we talk to the neighbor downstairs and none of them said they had made complaint about us. However, the problem is that the lease indeed require all tenants shall have their apartment covered with carpet. But if I do not make any noise and cause trouble to the neighbors, I should have the same right as them to not cover my floor with carpet. And if I have to do so as the lease said, all my neighbor should do the same thing as I. Is there any way I can sue the landlord?
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Re: Can I sue the landlord if they treat me unfairly?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:10 am

First, you don't say if you're Rent Stab. Even if the LL told you that you were not RS, many tenants find that their unit should be covered, so it's time to get a rent history from DHCR and start looking into that.

As for a carpet, you admit it's mentioned in your lease. This is a common rule in NYC apartment leases. It's not a law, just a rule often seen in leases. If the lease requires that, you do not have a "right" to ignore it.

The LL enforcing such a rule does not necessarily depend on someone complaining about noise. LL's can choose to to enforce it or not. There is no rule that says the LL must enforce it for all tenants.

But consider that some LL tell tenants to do this, then forget about it. Maybe they were just having a bad day. I would hold off if you can until they are determined.

As for carpet, you don't have to get wall-to-wall with professional installation. There are many lower-cost options, including finding a cheap carpet or area rugs online. I just found one that's 10 x 15 feet for $126 at walmart.com with free shipping. Look around and you can find something that fits your space. I would even look for used carpet. I seem to remember that Salvation Army had rugs and carpets.

Even if the tenant below you didn't complain, it's very easy for walking on bare wood to create noise that can be annoying to tenants below AND above you. A former tenant below me used to walk around on the bare wood and the noise - perhaps not noticeable to the tenant - nevertheless was very annoying to me.
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