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If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby nycrsa1 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:08 pm

My question is, if apartment were to become uninhabitable, other than I guess letting me out of the lease, is landlord responsible to finding other apartment in their many owned apartments, if so, can that be negotiated to have at rent-stabilized fee increases, or am I out on my own in nyc apartment market.

Other than the pests, this is a very desirable apartment that landlord probably would want to take back over and can charge much higher rent.

I am in a rent-stabilized apartment that has had mice like other apartments here. I now have moth issue, which due to a number of complications, including an uncommon moth type and some structural issues, solutions from pest control companies I have contacted on my own seem limited, e.g., pheromone traps don’t work for that species, heat treatment might not be appropriate for my apartment, and I am hesitant to fumigate/bomb.

Having talked/email several entomologists and pest control, seems very likely mice in basement and apartments are likely cause and so the landlord not me the tenant is the likely cause, I didn’t bring the mice in. For years I have monthly asked exterminator for glue boards for mice, so they knew I had them.

I wanted to understand before contacting super, as their contracted pest control company does not list moths on their website, and I have no confidence they will know how to deal with it or the whoever they subcontract out to.

Thanks very much. I was unsuccessful in finding a previous answer to this on the forum.
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:24 pm

Before we reply, please update your email address in your profile. What you have there now is bouncing back. Let us know when you've done that.
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby nycrsa1 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:05 pm

sorry about that i have just updated my email address and have reactivated thanks
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:54 pm

You posted in the rent regulated section, so I'm assuming you're rent stab. With every apartment, there is an implied Warranty of Habitability, meaning that the unit must be habitable. With that, some things are obvious and clear; but some things might be arguable. If the unit is not habitable, you have options. So does the LL.

A condition that results in a violation must be repaired by the LL, whether it's for you or the next tenant. If you withhold rent, then the LL would take you to court and the bad condition would be your defense. Of course the courts are backlogged. In many cases, violations will result in a rent abatement. If it's bad enough or what is known as a "rent impairing violation," you could get all of your rent abated.

You can also file a "HP" proceeding where a judge will order the LL to make repairs.

You could file with DHCR for a rent reduction (but this is not recommended).

You could ask the LL to be let out of your lease, or find someone to take over (assignment). Or you could just move and let the LL come after you for all the remaining rent. Get some advice before doing this.

There is no law that requires a LL to find another unit for you that he/she might own. However, if they are willing, best to have a lawyer to negotiate best terms, including RS coverage.

If the unit or building is not structurally sound, it's possible that DOB might come in and order everyone to vacate.

Whatever you do, record everything and document all letters.
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby Landlords Boy » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:47 pm

nycrsa1 wrote:...I now have moth issue, which due to a number of complications, including an uncommon moth type and some structural issues, solutions from pest control companies I have contacted on my own seem limited, e.g., pheromone traps don’t work for that species, heat treatment might not be appropriate for my apartment, and I am hesitant to fumigate/bomb.

Having talked/email several entomologists and pest control, seems very likely mice in basement and apartments are likely cause...


Interesting. Details, please.
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:54 pm

I don't know how moths and a building's structure intersect.

Mice can be controlled by blocking up the holes in the walls with steel wool and joint compound. Can't say it's a perfect solution, but in the short term, it does work.
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby nycrsa1 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:57 pm

I read this comment by an entomologist to this NYT article and a light bulb went off for me. I asked several entomologists who I found online in various ways and this made sense to them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/04/real ... sContainer There were a lot more comments there.

Moths Are Eating My Clothes! Can I Break My Lease?
Louis Sorkin
May 17, 2019

What's often overlooked about clothing moth (Tineidae, Tineola) infestations is a food source for the larvae (the caterpillars). People will search or find them in their woolen clothes, down and feather pillows, quilts, comforters and other obvious fabrics and materials and feel confident that they're now home free and treat the issue in some manner. There can also be carpet beetle (certain Dermestidae) issues since the larvae also feed on those items listed above. The moth and beetle larvae also feed on dead, dried rodent and bird carcasses and can be in their nests and sometimes in rodent stored food caches. They feed on dead insects, too. If a rodent program has been underway in the building and traps (forgotten traps?) and baits used, there is a high probability that the tineid moth issue can be traced to animal carcasses. I've been involved with a few such cases. In this case, did the landlord actually unknowingly cause the moth infestation?

This is part of another entomologist's reply to me when i emailed the above:

- these creatures can breed in very small amounts of organic material. Mice are notorious for keeping hidden supplies of seeds behind walls and under floors. And since you are in an apartment building, these moths could be breeding in other parts of the building and coming to you, so complete control might be impossible, so even if traps work they might not be an ultimate solution (although possibly worth a try).

So if you might be facing a long-term, low intensity infestation of these things, you can do things to mitigate the effects:

-store valuable clothes and dry food stuffs in sealed containers
-periodically inspect items for signs of infestation and then re-freeze when needed
-vacuum pantries and closets frequently and otherwise make it difficult for the moths to find places to breed in your living area.
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby nycrsa1 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:00 pm

Sorry i was unclear, it is not the building's structure

My apartment has--i don't know what you call them--small wooden tiles or something like that interlocking and covering the original floor, in summer heat they bend a bit, not sure how 120 degrees would be okay for floor, if the heat treatment that is used for bedbugs is used to eliminate the moths

Some very high ceilings that are inaccessible to vacuuming and cleaning out eggs etc. so that's why heat treatment was being thought about

Though not sure if landlord would pay for it
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:06 pm

Parquet floors

LLs are supposed to control all vermin. Getting them to do it is not that easy.

I often find holes in t-shirts, and for some reason the white ones, not the colored ones. That could be a moth problem. I've started to hang them on hangers, so we'll see if that helps any.
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby nycrsa1 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:11 pm

for clothes moths get moths traps, they help monitor, on amazon
this is type i got not saying the best just the one i got

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H9 ... le_o01_s00?

Dr. Killigan's Premium Clothing Moth Traps with Pheromones Prime | Non-Toxic Clothes Moth Trap with Lure for Closets & Carpet | Moth Treatment & Prevention | Case Making & Web Spinning (Black)



thanks for the name that's the floor not so good in heat i don't think
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby nycrsa1 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:26 pm

i am hoping LL will help and i don't have to pay for my own pest control

for folks who have had different types of moths is it still habitable or did apartment become inhabitable, if my LL isn't helpful
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:26 pm

If you're using a smartphone, remember you can use upper case when it's appropriate. If you're using a regular keyboard, then watch out! (see the forum rules)
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby nycrsa1 » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:30 pm

i am sorry i thought capital l's was acceptable abbreviation here for landlord an d if you mean title of moth trap, sorry, i just copied the name off of amazon to be helpful and every word already capitalized, my apologies
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Re: If apt. becomes uninhabitable, what happens

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:37 pm

Yes, LL is OK for landlord, but ll is not. Please consult the forum rules. I was referring to your text, not what you copied from Amazon.
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