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You have rights if your landlord does not maintain services

If you live in a rent-controlled dwelling in New York, you probably appreciate knowing that your rent will remain affordable throughout your tenancy. You may be wary of engaging in any kind of landlord-tenant dispute with the property owner because you want to keep your residence. We understand how you might not want to "rock the boat," but we also want to make sure you and others like you are aware of your rights.

First of all, as a tenant in New York, you have the right to live in a safe and properly serviced residence. This means that your landlord is required to maintain service on your residence. A few examples include repairing damaged plumbing, keeping the heating system functional and ensuring tenants have access to hot and cold water.

If your landlord fails to maintain service on your personal residence or on the entire building, you may be entitled to a decrease in your rent. The first step in qualifying for the rent reduction is to notify your landlord in writing. In the interest of avoiding a landlord-tenant dispute, this written notice is often enough to prompt property owners into action. If the notice does not work, then you may choose to file a complaint with the state's Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

We understand that the process of applying for a rent reduction due to decreased residential service may sound confusing. While it is easier than it sounds to file this application, you may choose to seek assistance from a legal professional. This is particularly beneficial if you have consistently experienced problems with your landlord. We invite you to read the detailed landlord-tenant dispute information on our website to increase your knowledge about your rights.

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