Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe, well-maintained homes. While the city does not enforce minor repairs, it does require landlords to adhere to housing codes. These codes are enforced by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development Violation (HPD).
If they do not, they may be issued one of three types of violations.
A Class A violation is a non-hazardous violation, such as a missing peephole, a failure to place a street number on the front of the dwelling, or placing an improper seat on a toilet. When a property owner receives a Notice of Violation (NOV), they must correct a Class A problem within 90 days.
Class B violations are classified as hazardous and can include issues like leaks, holes, inadequate lighting for stairs, missing smoke detectors, or unlawful bars on the windows. Property owners must correct these problems within 30 days of receiving an NOV.
Class C violations are classified as “immediately hazardous” violations. They include inadequate heat in the winter months, the presence of rodents, peeling lead paint in homes with small children, no hot water, mold, and mildew. Property owners must correct these issues within 24 hours of receiving the NOV.
Landlords may be fined daily for a failure to respond to NOVs, or HPD may place them in an Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP). While on AEP, they are subject to regular inspections. Failure to correct conditions may result in emergency repair charges, liens, and fees.
Owners are required to notify tenants that they’ve been placed on the program by posting a sign within 15 days of receiving the notice. It must be on the building’s main entrance door or in another conspicuous location in a common area. The sign must be posted in both English and Spanish.
What should you do if you think your landlord is committing a housing violation?
- Start by informing the owner in writing.
- If the owner fails to make necessary repairs, report the issue to 311.
- Make arrangements to give owners, repair people, or inspectors access to your home.
- Consult an attorney if these actions don’t result in a repair, or if your landlord tries to offer you money to leave your apartment, or if your landlord attempts to harass you.
Do not withhold rent without talking to an attorney first. While there are ways you may legally withhold rent, making the wrong move could result in your eviction.
For a free case review, contact McAdams Law today.
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