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Landlord not doing any repairs

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Landlord not doing any repairs

Postby Jacksonville » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:15 am

Hi,

I recently moved into an apartment earlier this year. Upon move in, the place was filthy and a host of things were broken, but it was agreed that the issues would be rectified. However, things got worse.

A list:
1. Multiple instances of the landlord entering the apartment to show it to potential tenants as a benchmark for apartments under renovation.
2. Landlord gave keys to my apartment to construction crew to use to their leisure while I was away for work. I came back to the toilet clogged and overflowing, and half full coffee cups everywhere, as well as bootprints and dirt everywhere.
3. Intercom does not work most of the time.
4. There was no heat when it was cold (I do mean none. I clocked my temp in the apt at 45 F on a few nights.)
5. Paint falling and chipping all over the bathroom.
6. Apartment is still pretty dirty. I can't seem to get the tub or shower tiles clean.
7. The toilet has started bubbling and smelling foul over the course of the day and night.

I pay my rent early in full every month. I don't make any noise (I go to school half the day, work half the day, and have a second job at night). I keep to myself.The apartment is not rent controlled and I pay the going rate in my neighborhood.

My main issue of concern is the toilet. I have had the locks changed already to rectify the other issues, but the stench is unbearable. My emails are mostly ignored, my texts are ignored, and my maintenance requests have pretty much gone unanswered (the foreign maintenance guy came by once for about a minute and told me he smelled nothing and implied I was making things up).

I consulted with an attorney who said I should send a polite email to the company as a whole stating my issues and what I would like done. I also mentioned that legal counsel had been retained and that they had 7 days to respond with a solution.

The landlord came by the next morning with the maintenance guy, and I could see what was going on. They were both acting as if nothing smelled or was occurring. My guess is that they know what the issue is, but deem it too expensive to fix. I'm in a ground floor apartment sandwiched between the elevator and stairs, so it's possible I'm the only one complaining.

I'm at my wit's end. I'm worried about my health (this can't be healthy) and I'm worried about my safety (It could be flammable gas). I live in a small studio apartment with the stove right outside the bathroom.

Any advice?

Thanks.
Jacksonville
 
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Re: Landlord not doing any repairs

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:29 am

Why do you think the unit is not rent stabilized? (it would not be rent controlled). Are there 6+ units in the building? How old is the building? It owuld probaby help to inquire from DHCR and get a rent history back to 1984. DHCR should have it.

First, on access. Tell the LL they can't use the place a a pit stop. You pay rent for exclusive access. You say you've changed the keys, so that should be resolved.

Do you have a lease, or is the unit month-to-month?

On other maintenance issues, first thing is to document things. Take photos. Write the LL by certified mail (not just email). Get a city inspector to come and look at it. Slowly ramp things up. You don't need a lawyer just yet, but start turning the screws.

If you smell gas, I would call 311 ASAP. If it's really strong, call 911 and Con Ed.
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Re: Landlord not doing any repairs

Postby Jacksonville » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:09 am

I have a lease. Moved in in Mid March of this year, it runs until May of next year.

If the apartment is indeed rent stabilized, does that help me?
Jacksonville
 
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Re: Landlord not doing any repairs

Postby rentstubq » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:49 pm

If your apartment is rent stabilized then you are legally entitled to a renewal, and you can file complaints with DHCR in order to force the landlord to do repairs.

So yeah, it would help you. Possibly a lot.
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Re: Landlord not doing any repairs

Postby Jacksonville » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:14 pm

Is the DHCR the same as HPD?
Jacksonville
 
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Re: Landlord not doing any repairs

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:27 pm

No, DHCR (now HCR) is state agency, Div. of Housing & Community Renewal (now Homes & Community Renewal).

HPD is city agency, Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development.

There is a lot of overlap in what they do.
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