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Apartment Repairs Delayed

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

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Apartment Repairs Delayed

Postby clajr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:42 pm

Landlord has been given access to make repairs but a one-week job has turned into three weeks, and the work isn't finished.

After being given access to scope out job, agree on a list of repairs, and set a schedule, the LL is dragging work out from week to week and cannot be compelled to set a final date for completion. It's straight out of the Steve Croman playbook in terms of low-level harassment.

Please note that he also has me in court for a holdover case.

Anything I can do? Can I tell him I'm getting my own contractor in to finish the work? I have a long paper trail documenting my attempts to pin him down.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Re: Apartment Repairs Delayed

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:30 pm

What you're saying is they haven't started actual work, yes? Or, are they working, just not as quick as seems reasonable?

Have they stated any reason or excuses? But you didn't say what the work actually was?

In your holdover, did you raise the warranty of habitability issues? Was there an inspection by HPD? Was there a stip on when and how the work would proceed? Or did you file a separate HP action?

Well yes, you can ask the judge in the holdover, although some might not be willing to do that. But you can file a separate HP action. It's a hassle, but you would get a court order. Just make sure you can actually show an unexplainable delay and that the repairs to be done are significant to your health and welfare.

Getting your own contractor -- is a whole other discussion and has pitfalls.
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Re: Apartment Repairs Delayed

Postby clajr » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:06 pm

work that was supposed to take one week has stretched into three weeks and is not finished.

they are patching holes, repainting, etc. Nothing major. They have given me various excuses for the delays over the past few weeks.

The holdover case raised no issues of habitability. While we were in court, the LL did a conversion from gas to electric in my bldg., which then necessitated repairs in my apartment. Repainting was necessary and overdue.

If I file an HP action now, it will take WEEKS.
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Re: Apartment Repairs Delayed

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:24 pm

I can understand your frustration, and IMHO is might be low-level harassment...

BUT, to play devil's advocate, they are doing something and the LL will come up with some excuse. Of course they are BS excuses, but would a court do anything? Yes, a HP action could slow things down ... maybe. We don't know. In my experience a HP action went pretty quickly, but OTOH, I've heard horror stories.

If you use your own contractor, the rub comes when you try to get the LL to pay for it, or to withhold rent to cover your costs. Better if the LL has done nothing, but here they are mid-way through the project. It's called "repair and deduct." There is no law that enables this, but none that prohibits it either. It's up to a judge based on evidence of complete LL inaction. It's very tricky.

On the conversion, was this for heat? That could be illegal if they took away a central heating system and put heating systems in each apartment. And did the LL get a modification of services from DHCR to convert to electric? I'm assuming you're now paying for the electric. Please expand on what actually happened.
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Re: Apartment Repairs Delayed

Postby Landlords Boy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:44 pm

For patch-and-repaint jobs the repair time varies because you have to let the plaster dry completely, so it's slower in wet weather. A "one-week job" can easily slip to ten days or more. And if the conversion required inspection then the LL has to wait for the inspector's approval before he can close up the area.

If the conversion was not for gas-to-electric for heating but gas-to-electric for the stoves then ConEd has to inspect everything.
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Re: Apartment Repairs Delayed

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:01 pm

Come on now, don't kid a kidder. It's normal for LL's to apply final paint to wet plaster. You think for a moment they want to do something the correct way?

And in mid-July, it's not exactly monsoon weather.

As for conversion, the conversion itself might be illegal (tenant didn't detail). But it's illegal for heating units inside apartments.
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