You don’t have to live with deplorable conditions,
either in your apartment or your building…
Numerous New York City landlords shirk their responsibilities to provide services and maintain habitable conditions, as the law requires. Many tenants who pay hard-earned money for rent are victimized by bad conditions in their apartments and throughout entire buildings. It happens every day of the week – Housing Court is filled with these kinds of disputes.
You don’t have to be a victim. Tenant attorney Jeff McAdams has an outstanding track record of forcing negligent landlords to honor their lease obligations, make repairs and do what they’re supposed to.
New York laws provide substantial protections for tenants who receive inadequate services and unfair treatment. These conditions can include any of the following problems:
- vermin infestation (rodents and insects)
- lack of or inadequate heat or hot water, especially during cold weather
- landlord’s failure to pay utility bills required by lease, resulting in shut-off of service
- uneven flooring, posing slip-and-fall hazards (missing or defective tiles, holes, slippery surfaces, torn rugs in public areas, etc.)
- defective or non-working appliances (stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.)
- water damage due to leaks and floods
- destruction from fire (ruined property, smoke odor, etc.)
- cracks or holes in ceilings, walls or floors
- noxious smells
- splintered wooden floors
- peeling plaster and paint
- landlord’s failure to repaint every three years if requested
- plumbing problems
- inoperative locks, buzzers, intercoms and other security violations that put personal safety and property at risk
- presence of lead paint or asbestos
- no central air conditioning when included in rent (during summer months, in particular for elderly or asthmatic tenants)
- leaking gas
- carbon monoxide poisoning
- nonfunctional or intermittent elevator service (severely impacting the elderly, ill or disabled and tenants living on upper floors)
- dangerous mold in your unit or the building
- missing fire extinguishers, hoses or sprinklers, and workable egress plans in case of fire or other emergency
- improperly lit hallways
- litter and garbage strewn about the property or not timely collected or removed
- defective sewage systems
- unfinished or poorly executed construction (performed without work permits, or by unlicensed workers, or using substandard materials)
- unnecessary construction, alterations or damage to your apartment to correct building systems or deficiencies
- inadequate accommodations for disabled tenants and visitors
- structural deficiencies (for example, problems with load-bearing walls, floor joists, etc.)
- drug dealing and prostitution on premises
- repeated burglaries, thefts, intrusions and other crimes
- strangers loitering in the building or trespassing outside areas
- other ignored or incomplete requests for repairs and correction of building code violations
You may get a significant reduction
in rent due and other advantages…
Tenants often suffer needlessly, when instead they can invoke powerful legal protections against landlord abuse or negligence. If you’ve had to live with any of these conditions or inadequate services, you may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of rent due to compensate you. That’s called a rent abatement, and depending on the seriousness of the problems, it may be substantial. Here’s a common example of how an abatement can be awarded to you…
Let’s say you complained about needing repairs in your apartment a year ago, and the landlord has done nothing about it. The repairs should reasonably have been completed within two months after you first notified the building management. For illustration, your rent is $1000.00 a month, and you haven’t paid it the past two months because the conditions have deteriorated even more. The landlord is now suing you for nonpayment.
In Housing Court, if your lawyer successfully argues that you are entitled to a 25% abatement and the judge agrees, the court will order that you are to receive a credit towards the rent due. In this case, it would be 25% of the $1000.00 monthly rate, or $250.00, times the ten months during which repairs should have been completed but weren’t. The total abatement would be $2500.00. This would be applied against the $2000.00 the landlord is suing you for, and the remaining $500.00 credit would then reduce next month’s rent to just $500.00.
This is the usual scenario in which an abatement is issued. There are also other ways in which you can be compensated for bad conditions and lack of service, depending on the facts of your case. In addition, a judge can hold your landlord in contempt of court for failure to make repairs or restore services.
In certain circumstances, longstanding recorded violations of the Housing Code may get you a 100% abatement.
Also, if your landlord attempts to evict you after you complain about violations or lack of services in your unit or the building, your having raised these issues might be critical to your defense.
In situations with building-wide bad conditions affecting multiple units, tenants can band together to protect their rights. Jeff has successfully orchestrated rent strikes against landlords with an egregious history of tenant abuse.
These are all important reasons to have proper legal representation. If you’re being victimized by bad conditions or lack of services in your apartment or building, get help today. Call for a FREE, brief initial phone consultation with Tenants’ lawyer Jeff McAdams at 212-406-5145.
You can learn more about what to do when your landlord doesn’t give you service in these tips and articles Jeff has published:
Find out more about protecting your rights. It’s unnecessary to be a victim, and you may be entitled to benefits you didn’t even know were available to you.
You can reach Jeff McAdams at 212-406-5145. Call for your FREE, brief initial phone consultation and get the information you need to have bad conditions fixed in your apartment or building.
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New York, NY 10007
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