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Breach of Warrant of Habitability?

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Breach of Warrant of Habitability?

Postby redhawk2005 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:03 pm

I just moved into a duplex apartment in upstate NY. I previously wrote about a noise issue with this new place under the title "landlord lied about noise" but have started a new thread as this is a separate issue.

I have the following problems:

1. Bad sulfur smell in hot water and lesser sulfur smell in cold water.
2. Shower stall and toilet bowl are both leaking.
3. This is not a comprehensive list of the problems here, just the ones I cant live with.

Short version first: Is sulfur in the water with severe rotten egg smell a breach of the warrant of habitability?

Long version:

Landlord told me that there is no sulfur in the water and that she had the water tested twice. She said smell should dissipate with use, but it hasn't. I spoke to next door neighbor and he told me that the smell never went away and he has lived there two years. He asked landlord to fix it but she refused.

Landlord has attempted to fix toilet and shower stall after telling me "you just have to live with it." However, the repairs failed to fix problem and it has been two weeks since I have heard anything. The contractor asked me to call him if there was still a problem and I did. This prompted an extremely belligerent call today from the landlord's husband where he insisted I call him and not the contractor if there is a problem. Reasonable enough, except that he was screaming at me the whole conversation and hung up the phone before I could ask what they were going to do about the bathroom.

I should note that my lease has an "as is" clause.

At this point I plan to write to the landlord concerning all the problems here as well as to ask for a water filter to be installed, a rent abatement so I can buy bottled water or to end my lease.

Any advice on my rights here or how to resolve this would be appreciated.
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Re: Breach of Warrant of Habitability?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:12 pm

"As is" really doens't mean anything for rental properties.

But you're upstate, with no tenant protections, and from what we hear, the local judges are pretty bad.

I don't know if sulpher is a health concern, but yes, it can smell.

I would at least detail the problems in writing to the LL, as you indicate.

The only other solution is to call the NYS Environmental Dept., but to be honest I don't know if they handle situations like this.

Otherwise you can withhold you rent, be taken to court where you would assert the problems as a defense.

But in the end the LL might not renew your lease.
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Re: Breach of Warrant of Habitability?

Postby redhawk2005 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:18 pm

Thanks for the quick response. I will do what you suggest. Ultimately, I want to get out of this place because of the noise but I can't afford to move right now.
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