Tenants' Rights 101: The Warranty of Habitability in New York

Disclaimer: The following information applies to New York State and should not be construed as legal advice, but as a means whereby tenants may increase their awareness about the rights they have as a matter of law with regard to their leasehold interest in a particular piece of property. If you are having an issue with your landlord, I suggest you seek competent counsel to ensure that your rights are properly adjudicated. The publisher of this article and its contributors disclaim responsibility for any damages that may result from any error, inaccuracy, or omission contained herein.

Warranty of Habitability

Every lease for residential property impliedly contains what's called the "Warranty of Habitability." This means that every landlord impliedly warrants the following:

  1. That the premises are fit for human habitation;
  2. That the condition of the premises is in accord with the uses reasonably intended by the parties; and
  3. That the tenants are not subjected to any conditions endangering or detrimental to their life, health, or safety.’

If a landlord breaches the Warranty of Habitability, a tenant does not have to pay rent to a landlord. "The obligation to pay rent is dependent upon the landlord's satisfactory maintenance of the premises in habitable condition" (Park West Management Corp. v. Mitchell, 47 N.Y.2d 316).

Furthermore, if your landlord takes you to court because you owe rent, judges regularly grant tenants a reduction in the arrears if the judge finds there was a breach of the Warranty of Habitability.

Also, although landlords often add unenforceable clauses to leases in order to intimidate tenants from seeking to enforce their rights, you are not always required by law to obey these unenforceable clauses, even if you signed the lease.

Lastly, the law does not permit a waiver of this warranty in the lease. If your landlord attempts to do so, such a waiver in unenforceable as contrary to public policy.

Determining Whether Warranty of Habitability Has Been Breached

To determine whether your landlord has breached the Warranty of Habitability, you have to ask yourself the following question:

Would a reasonable person consider such defect(s) a deprivation of those essential functions which a residence is expected to provide?

(Operative language: "deprivation of essential functions." In other words, does the present condition of the space prevent you from using it for its intended purpose?)

The following have been considered to be breaches of the Warranty of Habitability in the State of New York:

  • Asbestos which could become air-borne in the tenants' apartment.
  • Decrease in or lack of elevator service.
  • Broken floor tiles which create a hazardous condition.
  • Substantial accumulations of garbage that lead to infestations of insects or vermin.
  • Failure to provide heat and hot water for extended periods.
  • Severe infestation of insects and vermin.
  • Lead-based paint, especially where small children reside.
  • Deprivations of air, light, and/or ventilation.
  • Excessive noise as from construction, mechanical equipment, or even neighboring tenants when the landlord fails to take effective steps to abate the nuisance.
  • offensive fumes and odors.
  • Defective plumbing.
  • Inadequate security (e.g. damaged entrance locks, door buzzers, etc.).
  • Sewage leaks and spills.
  • Failure to provide smoke detectors.
  • Disruptions in water service.
  • Lack of window guards when required by local ordinances to protect children.

Please note, however, that any conditions caused by the misconduct of a tenant or by persons under the tenant's direction or control do not trigger a breach of warranty.

Invoking the Breach of Warranty of Habitability

The single most important thing to remember about invoking the breach of warranty of habitability as a defense in a landlord/tenant proceeding is that you give notice in writing to your landlord regarding the defective condition in your space. If he is not given notice and does not have a reasonable opportunity to rectify the situation, you may lose your right to invoke the warranty of habitability.

A best practice is to send written notice according to the terms of your lease, or if your lease does not specify, send written notice via first class mail return receipt requested as well as a courtesy copy via e-mail or facsimile.

New York State Real Property Law s. 235-b

The Warranty of Habitability

  1. In every written or oral lease or rental agreement for residential premises the landlord or lessor shall be deemed to covenant and warrant that the premises so leased or rented and all areas used in connection therewith in common with other tenants or residents are fit for human habitation and for the uses reasonably intended by the parties and that the occupants of such premises shall not be subjected to any conditions which would be dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to their life, health or safety. When any such condition has been caused by the misconduct of the tenant or lessee or persons under his direction or control, it shall not constitute a breach of such covenants and warranties.
  2. Any agreement by a lessee or tenant of a dwelling waiving or modifying his rights as set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to public policy.
  3. In determining the amount of damages sustained by a tenant as a result of a breach of the warranty set forth in the section, the court; (a) need not require any expert testimony; and (b) shall, to the extent the warranty is breached or cannot be cured by reason of a strike or other labor dispute which is not caused primarily by the individual landlord or lessor and such damages are attributable to such strike, exclude recovery to such extent, except to the extent of the net savings, if any, to the landlord or lessor by reason of such strike or labor dispute allocable to the tenant's premises, provided, however, that the landlord or lesser has made a good faith attempt, where practicable, to cure the breach. (c) where the premises is subject to regulation pursuant to the local emergency housing rent control law, the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four, the rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine or the city rent and rehabilitation law, reduce the amount awarded hereunder by the total amount of any rent reduction ordered by the state division of housing and community renewal pursuant to such laws or act, awarded to the tenant, from the effective date of such rent reduction order, that relates to one or more matters for which relief is awarded hereunder.

Landlord/Tenant Cases in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx

The Housing Court in Brooklyn is located at 141 Livingston Street. If you receive a notice in the mail requiring your appearance, it is imperative that you respond and take appropriate action immediately. This includes documenting any conditions in the building that may constitute a breach of the Warranty of Habitability.

If you have any questions about your case, please feel free to give me a call at 718-701-5772.

If you need representation on a landlord/tenant matter, I handle appearances in all five boroughs of the City of New York (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Bronx). I am usually in Brooklyn (Kings County).

I am able to make appointments in Brooklyn and Manhattan locations upon request.


Landlord v. Tenant, 2011 NY Slip Op 52490(U) (Weschester County June 13, 2011) (where Westchester Court found disturbances due to the landlord's construction on neighboring lot to be a breach of warranty of habitability).

The Court finds Landlord breached the warranty of habitability for the construction period commencing the last week in February 2011. In 487 Elmwood v. Hassett, supra, the Court granted a rent abatement based on the noise, vibrations and dust caused by jack hammering and other construction. Forest Hill v. Schimmel, supra, holds in relevant part that where there are conditions which frustrate the reasonably intended use of a Garden Apartment's outdoor common area the tenant is entitled to a rent abatement.

For purposes of warranty of habitability the Court finds Tenant met her burden. The Court credits her testimony, which includes vibrations during jack hammering, mud, uncontroverted testimony regarding porta potty odor, and unpleasantries. Landlord claims Tenant renewed her lease subject to the construction because of his early conversation with Tenant. However any conversation regarding "future" construction with Tenant was vague, not at all intended to inform her of legal consequences and not sufficient notice under the law. In addition Tenant's photographs speak for themselves regarding diminution of value. Accordingly the Court finds the Tenant is entitled to a 20% rent abatement from the last week in February 2011.

Comments 244 comments

pjcala6 6 years ago

where do I find the above breaches ? where did you get this info? Is there somewhere legally that these are printed?

CB 6 years ago

If the building which has illegal window size with bars and a space in the wall for a/c that the landlord orally agreed to provide but has not in this heat is that a breach in hability? Plus we have bedbugs which are still active after he treated with home depot spray??

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Nicholas Moccia 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Please visit my blog on foreclosure law:

smilet 6 years ago

re: warranty of habitability, specifically with respect to peeling/lead paint.

Scenario: one faily house painted in full prior to tenant moving in. Lease says tenant responsible for all interior and exterior repairs...and to comply with all laws;ordinances and government regulations.

1)Must landlord paint?

2)As all houses built prior to 1978 have lead paint.The issue is only that shouldn't be peeling. Immediately upon peeling...tenant can check child to see if high blood count then sue landlord?

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Nicholas Moccia 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

1) the landlord must paint only if the lease says so.

2) however, the landlord is strictly liable for lead paint problems, therefore it is the landlords responsibility to take care of any lead problems [i.e. removal] regardless of who is responsible for painting and regardless of how old the home is or when the landlord purchased the home. Tenant can sue you if the child has high lead paint count.

kate 6 years ago

My land-lord came to inspect without cause, i did however have several things i thought were unsafe in our townhouse. No window stuck as to create a hazard in case of fire and to add to it a dryer that isn't vented properly and causes a lint back up. After 5 weeks we had no response, the building inspector of the town was called in by ourselves..does the land-lords lack of response to our concerns breach our lease..

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Nicholas Moccia 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

If the inspector found violations and the violations are not addressed--yes he breached the lease. Send the landlord a letter with the violations and give him notice that if the violations are not remedied, you'll seek counsel to bring him to LL/T Court. You should attach your letter to your next rent check, noting that your payment is enclosed, and save a copy of the letter.

Kirstin M. 5 years ago

We share a backyard with other tenants and they are not cleaning up their dogs' poop. Would this qualify under the warranty of habitability in NY state?

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Nicholas Moccia 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

No, it does not.

Miriam 5 years ago

How many mice do you need to have or how often do you need to have mice in order for it to be deemed an infestation? I have had two in the last two days, after having the exterminator come in last week!

Miriam 5 years ago

After this experience, I want to move but I have 5 months left on my lease. Is this a reason to break the lease?

jay 5 years ago

can I reduce or cut a rent when we got bed bugs in the building(48 apt) and we have had some expenses according to bb

want to b mold free 5 years ago

does mold unremediated for more than one year breach the warranty of habitability. building department says even though there's a mold report clearly showing a terrible mold problem, it does not have anything in NYS law that allows them to write a violation for a mold condition that the landlord created by sealing a wall with a leak and the mold grew inside the wet wall and created a mold condition in the entire apartment. landlord believes he is entitled to rent. why?

sleepless tenant 5 years ago

I moved into my 3rd floor apartment Nov. 1 2010. The building's street-level main floor opened a bar Dec. 1 2010. The landlord assured us that measures had been taken to minimize noise issues, which turned out to be completely ineffective. Every evening, well into the night, the apartment rumbles from the music, affecting our sleep, and the voices of backyard bar dwellers might as well be sitting in our kitchen. The landlord has since promised corrections in the form of sound insulation in the apartment, the bar, and the hallway. It has been a month and nothing done, and the landlord continues to make unfulfilled promises. Can I pursue a future and/or retroactive rent decrease until effective measures are taken? What am I potentially entitled to?

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Nicholas Moccia 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

You might be able to get an injunction for immediate relief from the Court. You may have a cause of action for nuisance against your landlord for damages and/or a permanent injunction. A lot depends on the terms of your lease. To do this you would have to start a law suit, which costs money. You need to weigh in your mind whether it's worth hiring a lawyer or using the money to find a new place.

I want peace 5 years ago

We live in NYC as a month-to-month tenant. There's a domestic abuser upstairs and we have told the landlord about having to call the police because he abuses his girlfriend and kids. The landlord hasn't done anything. We have kids and share a hallway and laundry room with the abuser. We do not feel safe. How much notice do we have to give when we leave? We want to leave as soon as possible.

Also, we want to know what obligation does the landlord have to warn the next tenant about the domestic abuse? We don't want the same thing to happen to the next tenant.

JGer 5 years ago

I live in a high-rise building and my neighbors smoke a LOT of pot. The smell gets in the hallways and worse yet into my apartment. I have allergies that are aggrevated by the smoke and it is so strong that my eyes burn and I have a headache whenever I'm at home. I consider this a hazard to my heatlh and think it falls under the warranty of habitability...does it? Thanks.

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Nicholas Moccia 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I would say the pot issue is more of a "public nuisance" cause of action rather than a warranty of habitability issue. I would report it to the landlord and the police.

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Nicholas Moccia 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

With regard to the domestic abuser, obviously you should call the police if you feel threatened or if it sounds like someone is being injured. As a month to month tenant, you can leave with one month's notice--it shouldn't be a problem to end the lease; however, it depends on your jurisdiction.

sally 5 years ago

i am in a market rate apartment and the building was just purchased. i believe as part of their renovations (not upfront about anything) they have turned my water off (hot and cold) all of last week (Monday- Friday from 9- 5) and I was given notice this past Friday that the same will happen this week. I am afraid it will continue to happen based on what they would like to get done. I have two small children (still in diapers) and I work nights - I need to bathe them, wash bottles, shower before work etc. Does this qualify as a breach of warranty of habitability?

Christine 5 years ago

Last week the roof in my apt building leaked and water ran down several walls in my apt. There is now a very intense smell in my apt - the super says it's the wet dry wall, I say it's mold and other stuff. What rights do I have as a tenant? I'm really concerned for my health due to the strong smell.

Thanks for any help you can give!!

Hollis 5 years ago

For the last month, I have had the smell of smoke and ash in my apartment. The smell is not that strong, but it's pervasive and irritating to my lungs and throat, to the point that I have begun staying overnight at a friend's house. The landlord maintains that the smoke is coming from a neighbor's chimney, and there's nothing he can do about it. He has done nothing to establish whether this is the source. Does the warrant of habitability require him to make a good faith effort to investigate and try to influence the neighbors if this is the cause?

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Nicholas Moccia 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

No, I do not believe the landlord is responsible for a neighbor's chimney under a theory of breach of warranty of habitability--and even if he were, I do not believe that sort of nuisance rises to the level of a breach--unless your neighbor happens to be a coal burning power plant. If you want to pursue it, perhaps you can make a complaint to the Dept. of Buildings (perhaps that sort of chimney violates a building code or a zoning ordinance), or if it's really bad you might be able to sue the neighbor under a nuisance cause of action. Practically speaking, the most prudent thing to do would be to find a new apartment. Good luck.

carbe 5 years ago

We've been dealing with a basically useless oven and stove for the past year and four months. Over the past week we noticed that the gas smell was getting much worse, called the landlord and a few days later he came to check it out. He said it was simply a thermostat problem, that we needed to clean the stove also. He still hasn't replaced the thermostat and we've been for two weeks without the ability to use our kitchen. Today I called ConEd, the fire department and a few electricians came. The fire department immediately shut off the gas due to a gas leak in the hose, something the landlord failed to catch although there was an obvious gas smell when he came to check the stove. The landlord disregarded my telling him that we've been smelling gas for a while. ConEd was unable to repair the stove because it's simply too hard to remove from the wall (it's ancient). The fire department said we needed a new stove altogether. I called the landlord a couple of hours ago and I'm still waiting for a reply. Are we within our rights to withhold rent until he fixes the problem?? We've only lived in the city since January of 2010 (in this apartment) and so weren't aware of the hazards of this gas leak, we thought a faint smell was due to using the stove and gas fumes leaving each time it ignited. Our two dogs have been getting very bad diarrhea (cost nearly $300 at the vet to remedy) and one of them had a neck problem that costs me almost $200 dollars. My roommate and I have also had bloody noses and rare headaches. How do you suggest we exercise the Warranty of Habitability? Thank you!!

Linda 5 years ago

I have been living in this apartment for almost two years now and the vermin infestation is just rediculous. I have spoken to the owner and he sent someone to do a "so called" special service. It did not work, they are everywhere. They leave droppings all over everything. What can I do about it

Can u help or give me some advice.

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Nicholas Moccia 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Linda, what state are you from? Have attempted to call any city or state agencies?

brian sung 5 years ago


I need your help!

I moved into this apartment 4 months ago, and it's basically a box with no access to windows, no heating, and just a small hole in the upper right corner that I've filled with pillows for privacy.

I've managed to purchase my own air conditioner to improve circulation, but overall the room is stuffy, has zero access to natural light, and has only one electrical outlet in the room.

Is there anyway that I can break my lease, recollect my security deposit, and move out under the pretext that there is "deprivations of air, light and ventilation"? Is there someone I should contact? Please let me know!

Heather Concklin 5 years ago

Would lint buildup in the dryer constitute a safety hazard? The dryer is attached with a gas line and our landlord claims that the lease says we are responsible for the maintenance of appliances. We want a professional to come clean it he says to just use a vacuum. He is also living out of the country and really wants nothing to do with the house.

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Nicholas Moccia 5 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Heather, if the lease says you are responsible for the maintenance of appliances, then you are responsible for the lint build up in the dryer. Even if you weren't, lint build-up without any imminent threat of, say, a fire would not rise to the level of a breach of warranty of habitability in my opinion.

Tony Do 5 years ago

I've had numerous of issues with my apartment and I am fed up. I am living in a new apartment and half of the apartment building is still under construction. My side of the building is completed. However, I have been encountering many issues. Things just start falling apart. Each one has been addressed by the landlord. This last issue is very frustrating to me. Upstairs has been leaking water into my apartment. I reported the issue to the property manager on Friday. They came and try to fix the issue. My wall is still exposed. I came home yesterday to find water dripping from the ceiling. Is there anything I can do? Can I report the building for a rent reduction?

Russian 4 years ago

When was the first trial pretsident by Warranty of Habitability? 1971?

Alice 4 years ago

I recently rented an apartment in which the landlord failed to inform my husband and I that the majority of the tenants, including the former tenant who occupied our apartment, are HIV/AIDS patients. Is this grounds for terminating my lease?

In addition, there are issues with the entrance doorway as individuals continue to jam pieces of paper into the lock to keep the door from properly closing. There is an also an issue with the second entrance way where the handle is broken, and it appears that anyone can gain access to the building at any time.

My lease starts 11/1/11, and I moved my things in over the weekend. I just found out today about the HASA issue after doing some research online, which I should have done sooner but honestly never thought to do so. I also asked the landlord and his representative if there were any individuals in the building receiving government assistance or subsidies, and he swore up and down that there were none.

Any advice? Can I break this lease?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Alice, I believe there may be a way for you to break the lease, but I need more info. Give me a buzz: 718-701-5772

MJC 4 years ago

Despite complaints/requests on at least four occasions, our landlord has refused to properly repair a storm cellar door whose tension springs gave out so that the very heavy door required excessive handling to allow ingress and egress to the basement where our laundry is located. When we followed our intial oral mention with a forceful but friendly (i.e., not certified, reflecting the amicable relationship we'd had to this point) letter accompanying our rent, the landlord installed a prop using a modified shower pole. Since that time, one of the landlords welcomed the idea of being sued if anyone were hurt. My more recent, animated conversation with the other half of the landlord team included him insisting the pole was fine, telling me he felt threatened by my suggestion that the door was a hazard, a breach of local codes, and a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, and stating it was too expensive to fix. Curious on your thoughts. I don't know if it rises to that level, but as the landlord has raised our rent (in retaliation, I believe), and threatening action as we have been late with our rent due to financial strains, I am fed up with his absolute lack of interest and concern, along with his plaints of his own financial problems. Though late, we are fulfilling our obligations. They apparently consider their financial straits as an excuse for not meeting theirs.

Thank you.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Your issue doesn't rise to the level of a breach of warranty of habitability in my opinion, but you may consider calling 311 or Dept. of Buildings (or the equivalent if you lived outside NYC).

Lyn 4 years ago

Hi I live in Suffolk county in a 1 bedroom that is in the basement, there is a closet in my bedroom that houses the pipes to the shower and I think the septic tank. For the past 2 months I have been dealing with q foul odor that is coming from the closet (mostly when the shower is running). My landlord has smelled it also and has had a plumber come out to check it. She says that he has checked everything and does not smell the odor! So she and he conclude that nothing is wrong (although) she has smelled it herself). I would like to break my lease, because she is now saying that there is nothing more that she can do! How long do I have to look for an apartment without continuing to pay rent? Thanks

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Lyn, I don't recommend scamming--you will be liable for the rent. If I were you, I would see if you could work something out with the landlord so you could move out without liability.

Madeleine 4 years ago

We live in a landmark former piano factory in the Bronx, converted into "loft" apartments. The floors are not soundproofed, but hardwood, our ceiling is wood planks painted white. The neighbor upstairs has a drum set, apparently the landlord assured him when he moved in (when they were first rehabbing the building) that this would be "artist space." We've been complaining for a year, the landlord built a little stage for the drum set and has asked us to make a schedule to accommodate daily drumming. One of us is a PhD student, the other a freelance journalist, and we both need to work from home to sustain our livelihood and pay our rent (which is the cheapest we can find in the city and the most we can currently afford). The management has offered to put in a soundproofing board on our ceiling, but that would cover the architectural feature of the ceiling. Does a landlord have the right to grant permission to another tenant to make a lot of noise in a residential building? Is this a nuisance or a breach of habitibility?

Phyllis 4 years ago

I live in a rent-stabilized studio apartment in Queens for 19 years. I always feel sick when I am in the apartment. I recently noticed that the air vents in the bathroom and kitchen are extremely dirty and the grate is painted on. The vents have not been cleaned since I moved in. I suffer from allergies, chronic sinus infections and asthma and I am constantly smelling my neighbors' cooking which bothers me. I want the vents cleaned professionally. Is it the tenant's or the landlord's responsibility to pay for it?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I would have to research it further, but I believe the NYC rent stabilization code puts the responsibility on the landlord.

Staci 4 years ago

I live in on the top floor of a 6 story building in Brooklyn and the elevator (thank heavens) is being upgraded and repaired. The only problem is that the elevator is out of service for a full week and I have a knee condition where I'm not even supposed to use the stairs. My kneews are already aching like crazy and it's only Day One. Is there anything I can do? I feel like I can't stay at my place this week...

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

The best solution for you is probably not a legal one--it would take more than a week to even get the attention of a court. I recommend staying with a friend or relative, or perhaps getting a hotel room. Perhaps you can get your landlord to reimburse you.

Staci 4 years ago

Thanks for the quick response. If there's no legal entitlement to a reimbursement, there's no way I'll get that from him. It was so hard just to get him to invest a penny into the elevator in the first place (long story). Just thought I'd see if there were some way I could insist on a refund (i.e. my last apartment didn't have heat for a month, so I insisted on a reimbursement).

Kelly 4 years ago

2 family house in windsor terrace- we have had a mouse problem for about 3 months, our landlord (after much goading) finally had some holes in our basement walls re-cemented. but still having mouse droppings and catching mice in basement. Found a really nice apartment last night and would like to get out of our lease. I called and asked our landlords representative last night about trying to get out of lease (I did not say that the mice were directly related to our wanting to leave, only that we found a really great apt that we had been dreaming of and wanted to leap on a chance to upgrade) the landlord refused to let us out of the lease (we are really good tenants) and offered some nice incentives to stay but we want out. Any chance the mice problem is enough to get out of the lease w/o too much legal action? Thank You Very Much Nicholas!

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I would need more details and would need to see the lease. I'm inclined to say that the mice problem, without more, may not be enough to break the lease without any repercussions. The best way out might be to try to assign or sublet the apartment to someone else--notwithstanding a lease provision to the contrary. If your landlord refuses, you may* be able to break the lease without further liability. If you break the lease, you will be inviting a law suit regardless of whether your position has merit.

magnum65 4 years ago

Is the Warrant of Habitability enforceable for a single family rental in New York State?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

yes--all residential rental units in NY.

magnum65 4 years ago

Thank you

Tanyajefreeman 4 years ago

I just signed my lease 3 weeks ago. I have had problem of roaches, plumbing, extreme noise, bathroom tiles coming up and heat so high it gives me nose bleeds. What are my options? My broker won't answer when I ask for a copy of the lease and my landlord never gets back to me. It took two weeks of called just to get the mailbox keys.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Tanya, give my office a call. 718-701-5772

LL 4 years ago

The apartment I rented has been a mess from the start. We are 4 months into the lease and first the refrigerator was broken, then the stove, then a carbon monoxide leak (causing the fire department to break in), broken top lock (from the fire department), and a hole in the pipe under kitchen sink (flooding kitchen)- each of these took a month or more to be fixed. Most recently an installer replacing the broken dishwasher flooded the apartment and 5 floors down to the lobby (including neighboring apts/elevators/etc.) - The apartment is moldy and there is damage causing it to be uninhabitable and the landlord has done nothing to fix any part of it. Am I correct to not pay rent? They are telling me that I should be living there and now want to terminate the lease with my security. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

magnum65 4 years ago

In a single family residential rental does the landlord have to keep the security deposit in a separate account. Also do they have to let you know the account number and what bank the money is in? Thanks

Lou 4 years ago

I live on the eighth floor and my building just informed me that the one elevator in my building will be out of service for 4-6 weeks due to necessary modernization. What are my rights as far as a rent reduction? Isn't this a violation of the warranty of habitability???

I appreciate your response!! Thank u so much!!

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

magnum65-the answer is "no" to both of your questions. This rule really applies to multiple dwellings.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Lou--this probably doesn't rise to the level of a breach of warranty of habitability. Do you have an disabilities that prevent you from using the stairs? I would continue paying your rent.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

LL -- if you don't pay the rent, your landlord with start a non-payment proceeding. If the conditions are as you describe, then you may have a viable defense and may be entitled to a rent abatement.

patrick jacob 4 years ago

Thank you for your time and advice...

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

For more information about landlord/tenant law in NY, please visit my website:

magnum65 4 years ago

In a single family rental does the landlord have to provide a working boiler for heat. Thanks

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

The landlord has to provide heat and hot water. Unless there is some technology out there that I'm not aware of, this would presumably require a boiler.

magnum65 4 years ago

I guess electric heat would constitute some other technology, but yes my boiler has been broken 90% of the time and has not worked for over a month. He told me to fix it. Thanks again your wonderful

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

He is supposed to supply the heat. If you are paying for the electricity for the electric heaters that is improper. Does your lease say that you are suppose to pay for heat or repairs? if it doesn't, the expense belongs to the landlord.

mso82 4 years ago

I rented a renovated apartment and the gas for cooking is not turned on because the local utility requires an inspection from a licensed plumber before they will turn of the gas. I informed the landlord of this but he has not taken any action. Does the failure to provide cooking gas a breach of warranty of habitability, if not, what can I do to get gas? Thanks.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

failure to supply cooking gas is not a breach of warranty of habitability. Talk to your landlord again. Ask for a date certain for the inspection. Advise him that you will speak to an attorney if he does not get the inspection as promised.

sam 4 years ago


What about chronic but not extended outages of heat/hot water? I'd say about once a week there is no hot water at all. (There's often very little hot water, leading to lukewarm showers, but that's a secondary concern.)

The landlord has tried to fix the issue and is promising to fix it again, but the fact is it's an old boiler and the repairs don't help. Approximately once a week I or my fiancée takes an ice cold shower. Am I correct in asserting that this is a breach of the WOH that supports at least abatement of rent? I won't withhold rent without discussing it further with the landlord, but I simply cannot believe that I have absolutely no recourse.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Call 311 if you are in NYC and report it to HPD. If you can't get the appropriate city agency to address the issue satisfactorily, you should bring your LL to housing court. If you wish to do the later, I can help you make a cost benefit analysis to see if it's worth it to bring him to court.

luke hunsberger 4 years ago

landlord had workers paint a roof right outside our apartment's only window. the paint used was extremely high in volatile organic compounds. we were not notified in advance, they did nothing to prevent the fumes from going into our apartment. one month later, they still have done nothing despite repeated complaints to the superintendent. the fumes still are coming in. this kind of paint does not cure in cold temperatures. the results are headaches, etc. i am going to take pictures today; and get a sample of the paint. we bought a $400 air filter machine, and have used plastic and duct tape to seal off a rotten portion of the wall where toxic fumes were coming through. we are afraid to open the window; but must occasionally because otherwise it gets too hot in the apartment.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Do you have an medical records for the physical symptoms you complain of? If not, you really don't have much to go on...

MaryBeth 4 years ago

Hi, Recently my landlord called to say that he had to put a new meter in and that he has been "illegally" paying for my cooking gas. I called National Grid as soon as I got the call to set up a new account. They told me there was only one account for heat/hot water/cooking gas for the building so I could not set up an account. I left a voicemail with my landlord and no answer. The gas was shut off two days ago. National Grid comes on Monday to set up a new meter/restore service. The landlord claims he didn't know when National Grid was turning off the gas but National Grid says he placed the order. Is cooking gas an essential service and can Is cooking gas an essential service? can I file an HP case against him?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

If you only loose the service for a couple of days and because the utility company needs to get the building in compliance, no. If you have no gas for months and for no good reason, then maybe.

Kyle 4 years ago

Hi - We have an EXTREME case of "steam hammer" in our apartment, in which every day at 5:20am (when heat turns on), there is a solid 20 minutes of unbelievable "hammering" coming from the steam pipe traveling directly through our apartment (not in wall). You would not believe how loud the noise is, as it vibrates the entire apartment. The noise occurs intermittently throughout the day, as the heat turns on. It has affected my roommates and I (lack of sleep) and has truly become unbearable. We have notified the landlord about it almost on a daily basis. After two months of calling, they finally made an effort to fix the problem, but a poor one at that (did not work). We don't know what to do, and we simply can't live like this anymore. Any advice is appreciated - Thanks.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

If you are in NYC, call 311 or HPD and report the issue so your LL gets a violation. You can also bring a petition in housing court to try to get a rent abatement and/or moving expenses to find a new apartment. If that is something you are interested in doing, give me a buzz. 718-701-5772

Jill 4 years ago

Hi - 3 days ago ConEd came to our apartment(NYC)in order to place a new meter. After they changed the meter, they found out that we have a gas leak in the apartment and shut off the gas. The landlord sent a plumber today that confirmed we have a serious leak(that probably existed before the meter was changed). At the moment the land lord needs permissions from the City to do some pipe repairs in order to fix the issues.

We can not cook or use the stove at all..and we have two young kids..What should we do? we are eating out for three days already and would probably need to continue to do so for a while..are we liable to not pay rent? get refunds for our meals?

Any advise is greatly appreciated!!!

Laura 4 years ago

Hi, So last week my landlord started an asbestos abatement project himself to repair a pipe, while me and the other tenants that live here were in the house and he does not have a license to do so. I am concerned about if any asbestos became airborne at the time as he did not have a license to know what he was doing nor follow any special procedure. Is he in breach due to warranty of habitability? I dont think hes going to budge on letting me out of my lease, as when I called him to discuss my concern I think he feels his procedure was a safe thing to do. But I've talked to the asbestos guy that came 5 days later to finish the project, and he said my landlord wasn't suppose to do what he did. I just dont feel safe here anymore, please help thanks

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Tell your landlord that you want to move because of the asbestos concern. If he refuses, tell him you are going to make complaints to HPD and the Dept. of Buildings (assuming you are in NYC). If he still disregards you, make the complaints. If he receives violations, then you should be able to move out without any recourse on the part of your landlord. However, this is going to take some time.

If you are extremely concerned, and want to move out immediately, give me a call and I can help you do that.

JS314 4 years ago


My husband(he is the only 1 on the lease,while I live here with my 3 children)is currently in litigation with the owner of our rent stablized NYC multiple dwelling(44units)for nonpayment of rent. We moved in in Nov 2009 and have only had issues with repairs since then. We had a work order put into place in May 2010 and then a new owner took over in June 2010 with no repairs having been made yet from the work order. since then we have had bed bugs, a horrific case of visible mold(pictures to prove), electric shock in our bathtub in which he removed the tiles by the window so we would not feel it anymore(tiles missing still since Sept 2011). The leak which caused the mold in the bathroom was fixed while they gutted one entire wall(without mold remediation practice) which i belive is what caused my children to beocme sick with multiple sinus infections over a 2 month period causing 1 of them to develop pneumonia for a month and a half all while not providing heat for the entire month of October while he was sick causing him to be hospitalized after a bronchoscopy was done and he was found to have bleeding lungs.

we are now moving out on March 3 but our case has been postponed twice already causing us to be still dealing with this until March 15. How can i still have to pay any money to this landlord when they have CLEARLY shown to just not care of the conditions we have been and are currently exposed to? Please help!!

Gigge 4 years ago

Is a landlord required to have a buzzer entry system on a small multi-family home? Is the main (front) door required to automatically close and lock?

I saw these provisions on rent stabilized leases but couldn't tell if the same rules applied to unregulated two or three family homes.

michelle 4 years ago

Hi Nicholas, I am a landlord of a studio loft in Manhattan. August a pipe leaked from my apartment to my downstairs neighbour. Imediately we shut the water off and gutted the bathroom. The building gave the tenant access to an empty apartment,just down the hall to shower and use toilet and I believe that she even slept there some nights. The construction lasted 10 days.6 months later the tenant has just told me that she has spoken to her lawyer and she will not pay rent for those 10 days. That she is intitled to a rebate. Where do I stand? Its not like I left her without accomodation. Thank you, Michelle

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

First, is the downstairs neighbor your tenant as well? When you say "the building gave the tenant" access to an empty apartment, are you referring to yourself. If your downstairs neighbor is not your tenant, then I would ignore the request for a rent abatement.

Assuming she is your tenant, I can't say for certain whether or not a judge would find in your favor as I would need more information. I'm pretty certain she would not, in any event, be entitled to a 100% abatement for the ten days--and certainly not for the entire month. Regardless, you may be better off throwing her a bone a giving her a 50% abatement for the ten days-i.e. work what the rent would be per day for ten days, and credit her 50% of the sum on her next rent payment; otherwise, you may waste time in court and money on an attorney. The couple of hundred dollars may well be worth avoiding the nuisance, and you will build some goodwill for the substantial inconvenience the leak caused your tenant.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I don't know the answer to this question off the top of my head. I would call 311.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

[to JS314] If what you say is true, I believe you should receive some sort of rent abatement. You have to raise the issue with the judge, and I expect he would make a substantial offset from the total amount you owe. You might even be able to sue your landlord for personal injury, but that would likely have to be a separate suit in supreme court. Your situation sounds very serious...

Fred Franklin 4 years ago

First off, Nicholas, the fact that you take the time to answer commenter's questions is absolutely amazing. On behalf of everyone, thanks.

So here goes... my heat was not working all day. My landlord said he could not get a plumber to come until the next morning. (We live in NYC... really?!)

This has happened before, and it took 2 days for him to fix the heat (meaning 2 days for him to get a plumber to the building... the actual fix took all of 30 minutes).

With a forewarning to my landlord (but in spite of his objection), I called a plumber myself.

I also filed a complaint with 311 before that, but had not heard back from them... My landlord stopped responding to my text and phone calls, and I'm assuming he didn't pick up for whoever contacted him from 311 either.

I have every intention of deducting the plumber's cost (that I paid) from my next rent check, and sending him the receipt with it.

Is that okay? Do I have a legal right to deduct the plumber's fee for something that he should have and could have very well taken care of that same day? Wasn't this a breach of warranty of habitability?

I hope it doesn't come down to this, but with all of the other problems we've had with this landlord, we may end up having to give you a call...

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Fred: The easy answer is probably yes, you may deduct the reasonable cost of repairs from your rent. After appropriate notice to your landlord (preferably in writing) and reasonable time to undertake the correction of the condition, a tenant may offset against rent payments the cost of repairing the defective condition UNLESS the parties' lease expressly provides otherwise. There is legal authority that supports this position. Nevertheless, your landlord will still probably bring you to court and try to recover the withheld rent. You will then need defend your decision with appropriate documentation (letters, bills, etc) to the court. The question is whether you gave the landlord a reasonable time to fix the problem. No heat in the winter arguably needs to be addressed immediately, and if you live in a multiple dwelling, there are certain temperatures that must be maintained throughout the day. Also, there is a question whether the amount you paid the plumber for the repairs was reasonable. If you were overcharged, that's on you, not the landlord. If your landlord serves you with papers, as I expect he will, give me a call.

Fred 4 years ago

Okay, great! Thanks so much for the detailed response. I'll give you a call if we have any issues.

Narwhal 4 years ago

Nick, I live in a rented 7th floor condo and the elevator is going out of service for 10 weeks due to modernization. I know you answered a similar question for Lou, but there are a couple of other issues in my case. One, I have knee problems that prevent me from climbing that many stairs, and two, I have evidence that the condo manager notified the landlord about this project 1 year ago, yet they did not mention it when we were signing the lease.

JLC10023 4 years ago

My mother resides in a rent-stabilized apartment. Over the past 2 years, her neighbor's (rent controlled) apartment has been occupied by someone who identifies herself as a relative of the "prime tenant." The "prime tenant" has not resided in that apartment for at least 20 years. The current tenant has multiple, ever-changing roommates. The front door is left open for people to come and go all hours of the day and night slamming the doors. There is an offensive smell of pot coming from the apartment day and night that goes right into my mother's apartment (even with a door sweep). Illegal walls were constructed in the apartment; they may have been removed, but it appears other alterations have been made in the apartment to accommodate the "roommates." My mother has made many complaints to superintendent and the management (once after finding a "roommate" passed out in the hallway) but nothing has been done to resolve these issues. Note also - this is a doorman building. I feel these safety, security issues and the general nuisance warrants further action. Can you please advise possible next steps?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Make a complaint to the local rent control office:

Rent control is extremely strict about people who game the system and rent out subsidized space for profit. Let me know how you make out.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Ask them in writing for an accommodation during the 10 week period. Advise them that you are speaking to an attorney about this matter. Have them put you up in a hotel, or give you some sort of rent abatement while you stay with a relative or friend so that you can compensate them. Make your request in writing. If they ignore you or refuse. Give me a buzz. 718-701-5772

Narwhal 4 years ago

Many thanks Nick. Do you take cases in Westchester?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author


magnum65 4 years ago

Hi Nick,

My landlord refused to fix the heat in a single family residence for 3 months. I stopped paying him rent and he started eviction proceedings in January. Three days before the court date Feb 9 2012 he finally fixed the boiler and on the court date Feb 9 2012 I showed up as well as his lawyer. The judge set a trial date for Feb 23 2012. On Feb 22 2012 both parties agreed to a settlement for Jan and Feb rent of $5600 which was paid by bank check and cashed by his lawyer. The court was notified of settlement and the trial on Feb 23 was cancelled. I sent him March rent and he is now saying that he didn't get it and he is restarting eviction proceedings today March 5 2012. My defense at this point is he is refusing to accept the rent. But my question is does he have to start the eviction proceeding all over again from the beginning or is he going to be able to just pick up again where he left off? Thanks

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

He has to start from scratch.

magnum65 4 years ago

Thanks Nick...

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Magnum, if the case was settled and it was discontinued, he has to start from scratch. However, it is possible that the stipulation was drafted in such a way that he could pick up from where he left off. Check the stipulation. If you can't tell, give me a buzz.

carmel3210 4 years ago

Hi Nick, long story (trying to make it short) my apartment building has 33 floors. On Mar 3 my apartment had a sewage backup. The super and maintenance staff were called, responded but had no clue how to deal with it. I decided to call the FDNY for assistance. Water was shut to all apartments on my line and the adjourning line. The apartment beneath me was damaged from the water going thru the walls. Plumbers came but needed more plumbers snake to reach the blockage. They returned the next morning and unclogged the pipes. They found piece of plumbers snake had broken off sometime ago and could've been the cause of the backup. I took pictures and video of as much as I could. Question how much can my Management be responsible for? During a meeting held on Mar 8 (with State/City Council members and Management staff/attorneys/accountants etc. about a rent increase)the Managements President stated he has "known of problems with the plumbing in my apartment line for a long time." I've lived here since 1997 and after looking at work orders for my apartment realized they have tried to patch my bathroom plumbing problems over 100 times. I have most records to show this too. I informed the Super and Management that my family will not be staying in this apartment for health reasons. They did attempt to clean up the feces, urine, and other contaminants but I'm just disgusted. What course of action do you suggest I take now. Oh BTW I have 2 bedrooms and they only have 1 bedrooms available I'm waiting for approval to be moved as I write.

helpingout 4 years ago

Hi. Here is my situation. Live in NYS. I was behind on my rent due to circumstances beyond my control and quickly got caught up, except for a portion of this months rent. Since I moved in, I have continuously advised my landlord of the problems in my apartment, flooring issues, gaps in doors (air comes in). Also, when I signed my lease, I signed a Lead Paint Waiver. Now that I was almost caught up, my landlord began harassing me for the remainder and when I told them when I could pay, it wasn't good enough. I received from my landlord an eviction notice (not from the courts and not served on me by a sheriff. They gave the me option of moving out immediately and I would not get my paycheck garnished. Also, the Landlord had their key in my door attempting to come in and I opened the door asking what they were doing. They said they thought I moved out (this happened a month or two ago). So, I have a few questions: Can they just kick me out of the apartment without having to go through the Court system; is it allowed to have a lead paint waiver in the lease; can't I withhold rent from them if they have failed to fix the issues I have continuously advised them about? What should I do? Just leave?

Rachel 4 years ago

Hi Nicholas, I arrived home on Thursday night to find that, astonishingly, both front doors were removed from my Brooklyn apartment building, leaving the entrance wide open. When I left on Friday morning, a man seemed to be reinstalling them. Alas, after spending the evening out of town, I have returned to find no doors at all, once again. My roommate is presently the only one on the lease. I'm quite frightened. Would very much appreciate guidance. Thanks, R

Dee 4 years ago

Hi Nicholas I truly need your help. I moved into a studio apartment a month ago-- at the beginning of February. 3 days into living at the apartment. I noticed that loud plumbing noises come through the walls. There was the loud sound of a neighbors shower right next to the bedroom wall of my studio and there was also another loud plumbing sound coming from another wall in the bedroom. Also, above me I could hear everything my neighbors did including his spoon scraping his plate when he ate dinner. When he turns his tv on, my apartment is filled with noise that I can hear even with earplugs on. He leaves for work at 4 am and I awake then too because of his footsteps and the noise of him leaving. I have never lived in an apartment with such thin walls!! I cannot use ear plugs (doctors orders) because I have sensitive ears that erupt into an infection when I do. That third day when I couldn't bear the noise and suffering(which was my first monday in the building) I emailed the manager of the building to tell him I couldn't live in the apartmentand he confirmed that there was a bathroom and a kitchen right next to my studio. He offered to move me into a 1 bedroom where I would pay more. I asked to be let out of the lease and he said the owner would hold me liable until the apartment had been re-rented. Not really having anywhere to go, I agreed to the one bedroom. I begged for a price reduction considering the noise inconvenience and he laughed and said no. When moving into the one bedroom I inspected it and noticed that the bedroom was next to the street and the windows were thin. The living room was more inside the apartment bulding, next to the elevators although there is a corridor between the elveators and the living room. I told the super and landlord that I would make the living room area my bedroom instead of the bedroom area to avoid the street noise and they said ok. They promised that it is quiet in the one bedroom adding that a 50 yr old lived above me and my neighbor on my floor is quiet. Since we had gone over the lease for the studio the manager produced a new lease for this one bedroom, didn't explain the lease this time and had me sign it. A few days later he appeared with a new lease saying he made me sign a wrong lease so I should sign this and I did and he didn't explain it this time too apart form pointing out that there were renting it to me (supposedly) below the highest possible rent amount. I moved into the one-bedroom and noticed right away that the elevator makes the living room area --which was now my bedroom area-- shake. The buidling is old and the elevator also makes a heavy humming sound, and makes a thud when it reaches our floor. This is not the kind of noise that ear plugs can stop because it is a vibration and occasional vigorous shaking. For a month I lived there and was almost suicidal! There was not even one night when I had a good nights sleep. I would wake up multiple times in the night from the elevator. To add I could hear the people above me, the man to my side, all doors opening and closing and even the street noise too. It seemed the apartment walls were too thin, something is not right about that building. It was completely torture. I figured it would be quiet on weekends only to have the neighbor next to me blast very loud rap/rnb music every weekend. When I asked him to turn it down he said sure and it got a little less loud although it was still very loud, the next day the music was back to its previous level. 20 days ago I wrote to the manager and told him to pls cancel my lease, I told him I would leave 3 or 4 days after the day I sent him that email. He wrote back that he would talk to the owner but never wrote me back after that. Yesterday, I finally moved out of the apartment and returned the keys to the super. I emailed the manager to tell him that I had moved and his reply is that the owner says I am responsible for the apartment until it is re-rented. I have no money to pay for next month. I left because I never even had one night of a good night's sleep while there. Any help with getting out of the lease? Sorry for this long message. Thank you

desperate in Queens 4 years ago

I have been living in a garden apartment in Queens for nearly 5 years now. My private front entrance is directly across from a park. It was never really an issue until the landlord had a massive piece of new playground equipment installed, less than 25 feet from my door. Now there are huge, unsupervised groups of teenagers and children there for hours each day and evening. They scream, yell, bang on the equipment (which, of course, has a DRUM set attached to it!!!!) and are often present up to 6-8 hours a day. I work from home, and I am at my wits' end...I can't concentrate, I can't make phone calls to clients, and the noise has driven my blood pressure through the roof. Am I eligible for any rent abatement? Please help me before I blow up the playground with dynamite!!!

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

My apologies guys, I can't keep up with the comments this week. Busy with trial. Please don't be blowing anything up.

Mickal 4 years ago

The tenant next door is not cleaning up after her cats (there's an overwhelming smell of cat urine and feces which fills up the hallway, the stairwell, and my apartment). In addition to the tenant's filthy carpet harboring additional cat smells. Needless to say, the tenant's cats are a nuisance, and substantially interfere with my health and career.

Is this a breach of warranty of habitability?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

There may be a breach of warranty of habitability depending on how bad the situation actually is. There may also be a cause of action for nuisance. The remedy is to seek a court order against your landlord and the neighbor to get rid of the cat or, in the alternative, to have the premises cleaned and maintained in a sanitary condition. Before taking any legal action, I would call 311 and see if there is any city agency that can help you. Start with HPD.

Scott 4 years ago

one-bedroom apartment rented in 5 or 6 story building in Upper West Manhattan. We had no heat or hot water from March 3 to this Saturday March 24 (exactly 3 weeks). On March 7, management provided a letter saying it would take 7-10 days to fix. Two weeks later we got another letter in which the management company offered a 25% rent rebate for each day of no heat/hot water, or about $315. Is this reasonable? Should we be requesting a better rent abatement? The company offered little information about the process during the entire three weeks.

Thank you

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I think it's reasonable. There is no harm in trying for more, but I wouldn't take it to court. Even assuming you can get more from a judge, you will still need to pay an attorney to start a suit and you will have to wait many months to get a decision. Moreover, you will be destroying whatever goodwill exists between you and the management company. I would try to negotiate for a little bit more, but if they won't budge, take the abatement that they are offering.

Denise 4 years ago

I got an email from my landlord on march 7th letting me know that the house I have rented for the last 4 years had been sold and that even if the deal fell through that as of may 1, 2012 the house would no longer be available to be rented. I have found a new rental and have been asked if I could move in April 15th. I emailed my current landlord to discuss. I feel that if I will only be in the house 1/2 the month that I should pay 1/2 the rent. My landlord disagrees. I live in Suffolk County and do not have a lease.

Ann 4 years ago


My husband and I live and work in an apartment in a 6 story apartment building in Queens. There has been ongoing construction to the exterior of the building since September. The landlord sent a letter in September stating that the construction would take 2 months. The construction has included drilling outside all of our windows to remove the exterior bricks, sawing, hammering against metal and brick, tumbling of bricks and materials outside our windows, knocking against the window. We feel the vibrating of the drilling throughout our whole apartment, and get woken up by it every day. The landlord has work permits, but only for the work shed. The work is done Monday through Saturday, and is most likely being completed by illegal immigrants. Today, the hammering on the fire escape was unbearable, so my husband yelled at them to stop it. One of the workers responded by yelling "too fucking bad", "Close your fucking window". Our window was closed. My husband went downstairs to confront the foreman and told him to have that worker leave the premises, that this was our home and we didn't want to be treated like that. We received a voicemail from our landlord shortly thereafter to call her.

We have brought the noise grievances up to our super before, and he dismissed them.

Do we have a right to withhold rent or demand a rent abatement because the noise and constant stress is violating the warranty of habitability in our lease?

Thank you for your help.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Yes, you may be entitled for to a rent abatement for the period of time that the disturbance took place--especially if there are no work permits. I would not withhold your rent. You should also consider reporting them to the Dep't of Buildings. Good luck.

desaray zimmer 4 years ago

I moved in to a 4br apartment in binghamton ny with my sister and our 4 children. two with are new borns. we went to sleep the first night and not even 4 hours into sleep and my sister wakes me to tell me that there are bugs in the apartment. after looking at these bugs we descovered that they were bed bugs. so i gathered my children and left at 2:30 in the morning. the property manager offer to stick us in another apartment but honest i didn't feel safe. now i am homeless and all my belongings are in that apartment and infested. i tried calling legal aid but they wont return my numerous phone calls. I have no idea what to do. I'm hoping someone could shine some light on this for me.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Go to the county courthouse in person** and tell the clerk you want to bring a civil action against your former landlord for the return of your security deposit and value of your furniture. If the value is less than $5000, it's a small claims action. Ask the clerk for guidance, you may be able to do this yourself. Good Luck.

Tobythomas 4 years ago

We rent a unit in Manhattan with a large terrace. The building is required to perform facade maintainance and the contractor will be hanging a scaffold from our terrace. Accordingly, we are being required to remove our funrishings from the terrace and prohibited from using the terrace for the duration of the work which is currently scheduled to be at least 12 weeks. Are we entitled to a rent concession for the loss of use of the terrace? We chose the unit based in part on the terrace, and the rent reflects the presence of the terrace. Makiing the issue worse is the timing, we are losing use of the terrace for the few months that it is pleasant to use. Thanks.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Review your lease. There should be a provision that speaks to this sort of situation. I really can't answer that question without more info about your lease. Regardless, there is no harm in complaining to your landlord and asking for a rent abatement. You may actually get some money out of them. Your inability to use the terrace is a partial actual eviction, but usually leases cover landlords in the case of renovations of this sort.

Carlos 4 years ago

HI..I have been renting a 2 Br apt with my pregnant wife in Flushing Queens. We didn't realize when we agreed to sign Month to Month that the neighbors downstairs are extreme smokers. They smoke all day and all night. I get up to go to work sometimes at 3:00 am and it smells like a cigarette is burning in our living room. It looks like the kitchen when it was done was nt sealed up properly.I went to home depot and bought Hilti foam and opened up the walls to seal the breaches behind the cabinets in the kitchen (didn't work out) The smoke is coming up from downstairs into our walls and out of our cabinets and my closet. My clothes are starting to smell like cigarettes and mothballs. Under my sink, in the cabinets, smells like cigarettes and mothballs all the time, even when they are not smoking. The mothballs are from the tenants downstairs trying to cover up the smell, as I asked them 2x to help me out and my wife and unborn baby. Second hand smoke is a killer. The smoking is not coming to an end. I have talked to the landlord about it, but I feel as if he is blowing me off. Is there anything the LL is on the hook for here? What about the tenants downstairs? I hate telling people what to do, especially in their own abode, but if my kid ends up having a lung issue I may be arrested for my actions. Please help me out.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I have raised this issue to the housing courts in Kings County on several occasions, and I find that judges tend to disfavor interfering with people smoking (both tobacco and marijuana) in the privacy of their own apartments unless there is a lease provision to the contrary or it's in the common areas of the building. My advice is to find a new apartment--you have a month-to-month, so you can do so with one months notice to your landlord on the date your next rent payment is due.

JLC10023 4 years ago

Thank you (belatedly), Nicholas, for advice on how my mother can deal with nuisance neighbor. I called DHRC & spoke with a counselor. She was totally baffled as to why a landlord would be so indulgent toward a tenant in an illegally sublet rent-controlled apartment. She suggested filing for an applications for a rent reduction (for public space & apartment) based on the on-going smell/smoke issue. My mother wrote & sent a letter as a formal complaint to management by certified mail/return almost 2 weeks ago; the receipt hasn't been returned, but she intends to file for the reduction as soon as it is.

Today my mother received from DHCR "Owner's Application for Modification of Services" - "to eliminate doorman service from 1 of 2 entrances and installing a new entrance door, new intercom bell buzzer system with key fob entry system. This will eliminate payroll costs. Instead of a doorman opening door for tenants and visitors they will be buzzed into the building by the tenant(s)." Can you please advise how she should she respond to the answer to notice and/or application form? BTW there are 100 of the 291 apartments are occupied by rent-controlled or rent-stabilized tenants, so this change will affect many of them, and most are elderly. Thank you for your on-going assistance.

Celine Clerfeuille 4 years ago

My husband and I moved to a townhouse in Queens. We have the lower floor, and our upstairs neighbors are very loud. We hear some of them come home at 4AM, and we hear every step they take, their voices, the floor creaking their music and even their cell phones on vibrator and microwave oven. It's basically noisy 23 hours a day. We've told the landlords who've told us to speak to those tenants ourselves. We've done that, and every time they made noise, we'd go knock on their door and they'd stop. One day, they were playing music loud during the day. I went and knocked, they ignored me. I rang the bell, and they still ignored me. I texted the landlord about this issue, and they wrote "We know you're not happy here. Please feel free to move out with no consequence on the lease". I assume this means we can break our lease and not lose our deposit. Is there a legal recourse to either kick out those upstairs people or to make the landlord do something? Thanks a lot!

Frustrated 4 years ago

We signed an 18month lease with a large NYC realty company. At signing, the owner promised that the renovations to the interior of the building would be completed in 3-5months (only oral, not in writing). The 5 months is up and he hasn't started the renovations.

Additionally, we've filed several noise complaints with the building and city. The LL has said that it will call noisy neighbors but not escalate further. We involved the police (311) and have been documenting each incident.

Finally, during the latest police incident, I pointed out sanitation concerns (the building's only trash cans are at the top of a landing of stairs, partially blocking the only entrance/exit and are consistently overflowing/terrible smells) and exposed electrical wiring. The police assured me that reporting it would lead to citations.

Our end game is to move out and break the lease. But with a year left on the lease, the landlord won't budge and we can find renters ($rent is currently over market). We've emailed with the LL documenting everything and were told that the trash won't be moved and that the other fixes would take time.

It seems like step 1 is to go for citations/311 with HPD? Do you see any claims for breach of contract under Warranty of Habitability (noise/sanitation/smell issues) Any chance for rent abatement or breaking the lease for breach of contract on the Oral Agreement of 5 months?

We're left seriously thinking that a legal solution is the only way out.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

My apologies. I cannot respond to comments for the next week or so as I'm in the midst of preparing for some heavy litigation against the "Too-Big-to-Fail" banks. Please give me a buzz if it is urgent.

Nancy 4 years ago

I moved into my apartment about 3 weeks ago. Since moving in I have seen quite a few German cockroaches. In the 3 weeks they have come and sprayed twice, I saw 3 the day after they sprayed. My 3 year old daughter won't even sleep in her room now because she saw one in her room. She checks every room before walking into it As do I. I have had maintenance here 5-6 times for my kithchen sink flooding underneath, broken AC, broken flusher on the toilet, And someone pushing the outside door so hard it left an enormous hole in my apartment. Though those things were addressed, I still have a problem with these bugs and I want out of here. Can I break my lease?

Alice 4 years ago

I rent a condo on long island. The washing machine hose (water intake I think) was corroded and leaked without my knowledge... causing mold and water damage to many of my familiy's personel belongings in an adjacent closet. It must have been leaking for some time as I found black mold behind a piece of furniture and lining the closet walls and called the landlord immediately when I discovered it. His insurance did not pay for the claim as they said it was his neglect to appliance hose


Landlord is paying for repair to fix washing machine hoses and remove mold and water damage to apartment but not to clean any of my items of clothing, bedding, or damaged items. I paid for items to be laundered and have receipt (approx $150) .... Also, we have lost use of bedroom and kitchen/laundry areas for several days.

Am I entitled to reduced rent to compensate for our losses and or inconvenience?

Suzanne 4 years ago

Hello there. We live in Schenectady County and lease a home.The septic is leaking in our yard and we have emailed the owner ( he lives out of the country) but he is not getting in contact with us to resolve the problem. I spoke with the septic company and they said they informed him of this problem in February of this year and that he never contacted them to have it repaired. I have 3 dogs who come in and out of the house and I am 5 months pregnant. Is this a substantial issue under the warranty of habitability law?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Suzanne---you can pay for the repairs yourself and deduct from the rent. This is a major problem that needs to be address.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

For more info check out my website:

Colleen 4 years ago

I moved into my apt in March 2009 and had no heat, then very little heat, then heat maintained at 60, 58, and other very low temps, and the landlord has entered many times w/o notice when I'm not home, and has not provided legally required ventilation. My apt is new construction in an old building and I was rented my apt when there was a stop work order going on and there was no temp cert of occup until Sep 2009. Also, it seems the complete lack of ventilation for my apt and the other new units would make the temp cert.s of occup fraud. Ventilation does not exist but is required per sec 27-758, 759 and 761. There are many serious issues. I have written emails to the landlord, and taken pictures, and have a lot of documentation. Can you please help me?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Hi Colleen--sounds like you may be entitled to a rent abatement. I can give a free consultation over the phone and will take a look at your documents if you like. My contact info is on my website:

ara 4 years ago

Question please when u can get to it. I live in a rent controlled privately owned building that for years has suffered without landlord repairs, painting,cleaning,garbage,leaks, no heat etc Despite fines, despite court appearances the landlord evidently gets away with it. Now he has a new management company which has taken over the downstairs offices to the street (previously unused)and now is telling tenants to remove all belongings from the basement, which use was included in the rent leases from 1954 but since tenants are not issued licenses no one has paper proof. What is nyc law on this, this is east village apt building. Can the management company takeover the basement and order tenant property removal immediately?

Buchanan Apartments Tenants Association 4 years ago

@JLC10023 Your concern for your mother's welfare is understandable. Many of the tenants at the Buchanan are very concerned and have formed a Tenant's Association and have held a tenant-wide meeting concerning landlord's application to get rid of doormen on one side of the building.


SleepDeprived 4 years ago

Moved into my apt 4/1 and a couple days later heard my neighbor screaming at the top of his lungs (incoherently) from 9pm to about 2:30am with about 10 - 15min intervals. Missed a day of work and have since been severely sleep deprived. Super informed me that neighbor has "episodes" where he gets "agitated". I read up on it and he has Alzheimer's. The previous tenant in my apt moved because of this reason and the mgmt company not only failed to disclose this situation to me but when I inquired lied by claiming to have had no knowledge of it. Super also lied stating that previous tenant never complained. I know for a fact that this is false. Is the warranty of habitability broken since I can't sleep AND can I force landlord to place me in another comparable apt via housing court? Thanks in advance, Nicholas.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

You have a remedy, but it's not the warranty of habitability. Start with a "lawyer letter" requesting to be relocated, then escalate to a full blown suit if necessary. I would bring an action for fraudulent inducement and/or misrepresentation, among other things. The strategy is to sue for damages and make it more expensive for your landlord to fight you and keep you there than to relocate you at the landlord's expense. That's how I would do it. Give me a buzz. 718-701-5772.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Ara--I can't answer your question without more info. Please give me a buzz. 718-701-5772

martine 4 years ago

Hi.I need you help.I have someone who rented a room from me. Am I supposed to give her the key of my mailbox?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

you have to set up a system for her to get mail. you do not necessarily have to give her a key. if you are gone from the building for days on end, then you should give her a key.

Nicholas Moccia :) 4 years ago

Recently my landlord and I mutually agreed to end my lease early. I wanted out because the fuse box is from 1952, and from what I've been told is not up to code. They however don't work on the weekends so when a fuse blows, it can take days before my electricty is returned, leaving the food in the refrigerator to spoil. There is a hole in the floor that many of my friends stumble over when entering. He wants me out because my apartment uses a lot of electricity. During my last outage, a wire burnt and the electric company had to come to fix, to which my landlord threatened to charge me for. I agreed to unplug my toaster, microwave, etc. and we set a move out date and pro-rated my rent for the month, he has agreed to give me my security deposit. Does he have the right to withold it from me if the lease is terminated?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

If you mutually agreed to end the lease early and he said he would return your deposit, than he should not have the right to keep it; however, if he decides to dishonor his agreement, how are you going to prove this was the agreement?

Nicholas Moccia :) 4 years ago

I did have a witness to the conversation, however in the lease it states that it is the only agreement between us, there are no verbal contracts. Other than that, I'm crossing my fingers that he'll be true to his word. When I originally moved in, I caught another tenant moving out early because her unit was not up to code as well. It seems like he expects his tenants to break the lease, in exchange for letting us out, none of us have called for an inspection. I've spoken to everyone in my 4 plex and none of them are satisfied with the quality.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

If he dishonors his agreement, then bring him to small claims court to recover your security deposit.

Nicholas Moccia :) 4 years ago

Also, he said that it states in the lease that my microwave, minifridge and toaster were all forbidden in the lease. After reading it again it says "anything the deemed dangerous by the landlord shall not be permitted.

Does he have the right to outlaw my microwave usage on his property?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

No more free legal advice for you.... ;)

Nicholas Moccia :) 4 years ago

Ha. Fair enough Nicholas. You got an awesome name, thank your mother for it.

-Nicholas Moccia

R Wareham 4 years ago

I moved into a residence that was for women in times of need during a period of family conflict. I had a prized position in my career as a respected visual artist. I needed some extra community to insure safety. I had a roommate in the first few months where the administration placed me in their choice of room with dorm style set up. The roommate had a habbit of undressing in front of windows at night with the shades up and parading her body around. She also wanted to sleep with windows wide open. I required closed windows and no undresding with shades up. The administration forced me to sleep with open windows by a fire escape near another building rooftop. Access through the window could have been easy. I fought this concern with plans to sue and the landlord finally placed me in my private room. However during the time that I was attending to these unforeseen concerns, I needed to handle the family crisis which caused a disaster in my loosing significant assets that should have been easy to maintain if there had not been undue duress and harm to me. I had plans to move as soon as I could and made sure that I could manage to get some protection before moving. I just moved and am ready to sue. These landlords also harassed me in offering a larger room to rent. Offer was in email and then repeatedly went back and forth in changing minds. I brought some additional belongings into my small room in anticipation to rent the larger room and never was given the right space. The landlord has tried to both offer me extended stay in the residence and try to evict me. It was only due to their weird harassment that I chose to leave and now have an apartment. I lived in cramped space for too long due to their offer for the larger room. They also made public harassment in having men serve eviction wishes in notices that we're delivered at night where rules of the residence prohibits male visitors without warning the women. I was peaceful in plans to be safe in my own apartment when they tried to serve me 6 times for the same notice. One posted on my door. One delivers by a man to my door and 4 sent in the mail. Later as I was moving the next day with reall overt respectful plans to leave in peace with caring for the nuns who run this residence, the man tried to serve me one more eviction notice even when we had agreed to settle pre-trial with no eviction. I was given rent refund for 4 1/2 months. I'm suing for this harassment also. The only reason to hope to evict was based on the confusion over the repeated offers for extended stay written in email and a non renewal of lease based on my need to be protected. The administration wished that I did not contact police when the best friend of the old roommate shoved me in the hallway. This woman is a tall dark black woman who is really intimidating. I have some documentation of these matters and wish to sue and hope to find the right information about my rights and the causes of actions and how much I can recover from losses to my assets, loss of work time, damage to my reputation and duress. Please let me know if you can make suggestions.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Miss, do you have a court date? did you receive a petition? You gave me way too much info here.

michelle 4 years ago

my landlord gave us the back yard ti fix up after having his insurance guy come so he wouldn't get a now it is done and he wants use to take our stuff out.we have letter of cure and now today a 3 day termination letter.can he do this?

Sara kieckhefer 4 years ago

The fire dept shut off the gas to our apt building after a tenant smelled gas from a leaky stove connection. They are trying to restart the gas to the building. We have no use of the gas stove or the dryers in the laundry room. The information has been spotty, but it sounds like we will not have these services for a month. The building owner did give out hot plates but they are not very good. I have to incur many extra charges getting my laundry done and in eating out. What recourse do I have? What reimbursement for lost services is fair? How do I get reimbursed?

DBR 4 years ago

How does this apply to a 6-story coop building? The elevator restoration (we'll have no elevator) will take at least 8 weeks?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Your proprietary lease likely allows for such temporary reduction of services in the case of repairs and renovations. So I don't think you have a remedy unless you have some sort of physical disability.

Treny Biller 4 years ago

I am in a house lease in Westchester County and I need to leave the lease a few months early, so I've been marketing the house for rent. Well I found a tenant who wanted it, but they smelled odor in the basement so they ordered an air quality test, and low and behold they found mold, albeit non-toxic, but at the "upper end of what's acceptable". The inspector recommended carpet removal, HEPA vacuum, disinfectant, and drywall removal of 2 ft around the whole basement. They said that the current mold will continue to evolve so it must be dealt with. So the LL removed the carpet and then painted the floor - so far they've not committed to doing anything else. Does this situation breach the Warranty of Habitability? I'm hoping they just let me out of the lease early like I asked.

Vincent 4 years ago

We are awaiting an apartment to be finished being remodeled in Lefrak City. The Leasing Office is asking us to sign the lease before the remodel is finished. Is this legal?

Dearluv9999 4 years ago

Well my issue is that I recently moved into my apt in April. I paid rent/sec from April 1st but did not move into to apt until the 17th of the month. The day i moved in I saw roaches in the kitchen and the bathroom area. This was a Saturday so I could not contact the landlord until the following Monday. I also saw the insect traps on the floor the day i moved in. These traps were not out on the floors when I initially viewed the apt. I would have never paid or much less leased an apt for a yr had I seen this. It is now 2 months into my residing in this apt and I have contacted the landlord at least 5 times about the same issue. They state to me that they are aware that it is coming from my downstairs neighbors apartment. I am at a loss and am wondering what rights do I have to protect myself and my children. I have never in my life had to see a roach much less share a home with them. How should I proceed to gain the best outcome for mysel and my family??

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Treny, if the inspector said the mold was "at the upper level of what is acceptable" then I would say it is likely not a breach of warranty of habitability--especially if this is in the basement and not the rest of the house.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Vincent, what they are doing is legal if you agree to it; however, it is not prudent for you to sign the lease. If the remodeling is not finished on time, you will have a problem. Do not sign a lease unless the remodeling is already complete and the landlord can deliver possession.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Dearluv, you can do one of three things: 1. withhold rent until the bug problem is remedied by your landlord, 2. hire your own exterminator and deduct the cost from the next rent payment, or 3. move out early and sue your LL in small claims for the security deposit. Be sure to put your landlord on notice IN WRITING as to what you intend to do and why. Document your problem and all communications, and take pictures of the bugs.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Nelson, find a new place to live and sue your LL in small claims for the security deposit.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

To All: if you find my comments to be helpful, please visit my website: and press the "like" button on the page. Thanks.

thomsask 4 years ago

Dear Mr. Moccia:

I am wondering what to do about this situation and I am hoping you can advise to let me know if I may need a lawyer or if I can file charges against my landlord for breaking the warrant of habitability.

On May 25th in the AM hours, a large section of the living room ceiling in my apt. collapsed to the floor. I had alerted the super to this fact in April.

The situation continues to worsen: with more chunks dropping off. When the neighbors upstairs walk heavily, dust and pieces drop off. I have asked them to try to tread lightly as my living room and the spare room are covered in dust. On May 25th I went to the office and told the office clerk; he told me they will send "over a crew." (They usually use people who work without city certification including the super, who upon visiting the apartment said I "should just ripped down the plaster to get it ready for future patching;" alarming to say the least.

After examining the entire apartment, fractures and separations in the ceilings and walls are apparent throughout, with the bathroom wall leaking from upstairs from a pipe and the previously repaired bathroom ceiling starting to pucker. I have to have something there at all times to collect the water from the bathroom pipe.

I sent a certified letter to the management office, (who acts as the landlord's agent) complete with pictures of the damage and ceiling fissures. I explained the situation in detail telling them this has to be a professional job.

Because of the extensive nature of the repairs,

I inquired about a temporary living arrangement until the repairs are completed as there is a problem in every room with every ceiling and my apt has no space. I have lived here for more than 15 years. I asked that measures are taken to ensure the security of my belongings during the repairs, moving them into temporary storage.

I also asked about not charging me the full rent under these

uninhabitable and unsafe conditions.

I called the office spoke to the office clerk who said he sent a letter to me; He said to me on the phone that it was my responsibility to move my belongings in the boiler room downstairs.

I asked him there were people to help me move my things to the boiler room, he said they were not responsible for that. I work freelance and it will cost me income while I was moving my stuff for them to do the work; When I asked about the rent adjustment , he said: "No, are you kidding?" "What we need to know is when we can get in there to work."

I also my lease is up and I have to send it in by the end of June. Can they withhold my lease because of this?

I find your hub very informative and I am grateful for any advice. Sorry if I appear long-winded.

Sincerely with Kind Regards,

Tom K.

Jules 4 years ago

Hi Nicholas,

I have been living in my apartment for almost 2 years now and do not want to move. But...8 months ago I was sick in bed with an unusual flu and discovered while bed riden- the bedroom fireplace was covered in mold from a leak we had already informed our landlord about (which they did not fix).

I contacted the landlord and they took almost 2 months to address it. I finally threatened to withhold rent and they came to "fix" it within a week. However, they did not fix the problem. They ignored what I told them (and repeated many times) about the leak, and told me, what was so clearly mold, was not. They loosely scraped the surface and painted over it.

I have since been sick with severe respiratory problems and daily nausea. I ended up in the hospital with what I thought was the stomach flu (never had to go to the hospital for a flu before) and now have a $13k bill.

I have contacted the NYHD and NYHD many times only to be told there have to be obvious visual external signs. Finally last week the orange stains from the leak and the orange pussy mold has begun to show it's signs. This time I snapped photos of both, filed with the NYHD etc. The NYHD inspected it yesterday and confirmed there is a serious mold problem.

2 questions: 1. I am afraid the next step is for my landlord to fix it- not the city or someone I hire (I can't afford to) and if they fix it, I'm afraid they will just cover it up again instead of truly opening the wall, clearing the mold, and stopping the leak permanantly- how do I ensure it is properly dealt with? 2. I have huge medical bills and have lost weeks of work due to being so sick every single day for the last 8 months. What is my landlord liable for in terms of health issues?

thank you!

kristina m. 4 years ago

my landlord sent a letter telling me that i have to remove all of my childrens outdoor toys and if they where not removed that my landlord would dispose of the stuff her self can she do this? my stuff was not in anyones way and it was not a dangerous situation. when i talked to her about it she said having the childrens toys outside made the place not look nice.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

does your lease entitle to you the use of the outdoor space? if not, then you have to remove the toys. Moreover, if someone gets injured on the toys, you will be liable for the injury, not your landlord, since your landlord put you on notice to remove them.

liza 4 years ago

I live as a rent stablized tenant in a building that is part condo. Tenant above me is doing extensive construction with jack hammers and drills. Its so loud you cant hear conversation.

Do I have any recourse due to a breach of the warranty of habitibility?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Magnum--He definitely cannot do this. He is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and probably other laws as well.

claudia lum 4 years ago

My father in law owns a 6 family rent stabilized building in queens . I recently got a violation to fix the door bell buzzer. Can we just remove the whole buzzer system and keep it off since the thing has not worked in years.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I believe you need to have a buzzer under the rent stabilization code. Fix the buzzer. Don't be cheap. ;)

Nick Pet 4 years ago

My landlord just posted a sign in the lobby saying that in 2 days the elevator will be out of service for about 6 weeks for "needed upgrades". These are not upgrades, but rather repairs, as it randomly skips levels, or doesn't work at all at random times. This comes after 4 weeks of no gas service due to a leak and insufficient repairs, but they did pay for an electric stovetop at least, after the 1st week.

My question is, can I deduct rent for the elevator expected to be out of service for so long, and is it a breach from their side?

Our live-in super is totally useless, that everything is starting to look run down, and I feel many things that would be cheap and fast to repair will now be taking longer to fix. Aside from the gas and elevator, the main entrance lock has been broken for over 3 months with no sign of repair, which is totally unsafe. Some hallway walls had water damage and after repair have been sitting unpainted for over 2 months now and looks like a ghetto. And all this despite repeated reminders, and despite this loser super living here himself.

Even if the elevator issue is not a breach, since we dont have a proper staircase, just the emergency stairwell, and since it is summer and its a closed-off stairwell, it gets very hot, and often is very disgusting and stinky, so the very least I will demand is to install good temporary ventilation with strong fans and ensure someone cleans it regularly. But Id rather be able to also deduct rent, or if worse comes to worst, be able to break my lease given how this place is slowly looking like a dump. I have 8 more months on my lease.

Jordan 4 years ago

Hey Nick,

The following issue is a sensitive one: it is clear our neighbor suffers from an incontinence issue. The entire hallway smells of urine and feces. This odor permeates into our apartment and has forced us to keep sprays and deodorizers at our front door to counter the stench. We are forced to sit as far away as possible from our front door making it very difficult to live comfortably in our own home or to even have guests over. We didn't want to raise the issue with management out of respect for our neighbor, but the building has decided to raise our rent and now we feel as if we have no choice but to raise the issue. Would this fall under warranty of habitability?

Eric 4 years ago


I sublet. meaning I'm a month to month tenant. my building has noisy construction across the street, rats and mice in the foyer, hallways and in our apartment, there is no buzzer on the front door, there's a swarm of flies at the foyer, and our mailbox decided to break, leaving us without mail service. I have brought all these issues up to my landlord (the lease holder - who I pay rent to) and he has done nothing. I've been here a year and a half, and things have been falling apart and got progressively worse. what are my options besides moving? is there a breach of habitibility?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I will not be able to answer questions this week. Too much going on. My apologies.

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Toya Montana 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

I rent a room and have put an ac unit in the window where my landlord charges me extra money monthly, however, there is no air throughout the rest of the house, the heat is unbearable, it is hard to breathe and is also causing me to run the ac in my room longer than usual because if I open my door for even a millisecond to say, go to the bathroom, my room is flooded with the outside heat immediately. Is it legal for her to provide no air in the rest of the house at all?

Maura 4 years ago

5 bedroom house with all girls. Rented the house on may 1st and when we showed up t did not have heat for 10 days and hot wAter for 20 days. When complained to landlord everyday thy said they'll to the problem. It was not until the county inspector came over that we finally got hot water. Refused to pay for June's rent and have landlord 30 notice that we would be out by July 1st. Even thought she said she would let us out of our lease she know denies it and we are moving in a couple of days. She wants to sue us for the remainder of the lease agreement ( one year). Is this breach of habatality? We have more stuff wrong but that was he main for moving and the landlord never answers our calls or doesn't call us back

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Toya, your landlord is not legally required to provide you an air-conditioning unless your lease provides for it. Your landlord is required to provide adequate ventilation for your space.

KB 4 years ago

I live in a 4 bedroom duplex, with one floor completely below grade. (ground & basement level - 2 bedrooms on each floor). 8 days ago the basement level flooded due to a clogged drain outside of my bedroom (basement) window. This window opens into a shaft and is about one foot above the bottom of the shaft. The water came through the wall and flooded the whole basement with approximately 4 inches of water & common hall. The mgmt. company has admitted via email that it was due to drain blockage (leaves) that they did not clean. Apparently this happened before on a minor level before I moved in & they did not replace the wall, nor clear the drain.

Their maintenance crew cleaned out some water that evening, leaving us with an inch of water to clean ourselves & never sent a professional cleaning crew. It took us days to clean between the water, dirt & dust. The wall was soaked through, parts of it coming off and moving throughout the basement. They replaced the wall about 22 hours later, but just the wet part and sealed it immediately. There is a lack of ventilation on the floor – my window into the shaft is the only window on the floor (the other bedroom is windowless).

I now have asthma complications due to lack of ventilation & am concerned about mold growing in the wall over time. (I found some growing on a dry item of mine.) I went to the doctor & received medicine & he suggested that I do not stay at the apartment. Only now are they discussing sending a mold specialist & we still see dust between the floorboards that we do not know how to clean.

My roommate on my floor and I do not want to pay rent because of the lack of proper care/clean-up (which is still happening) as well as my health concerns/asthma problems.

KB 4 years ago

I also wanted to add that I have photos of the flood (not all of the water because I came a few hours after it flooded due to work), damage, humidity monitor readings, etc.

John P. 4 years ago


Just moved into an apartment in Suffolk County and when the cable guy got into the crawl space -- he found piles of tiles AND piles of cat poop (and the harsh smell of dried cat pee). I'm allergic to cats - which makes this even worse. Is this a violation? Does the LL have to pay for professionals to clean the crawl space?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Where is the crawl space?

John P. 4 years ago

The crawl space is up in the roof. We are on the second floor and the roof basically cuts into the dimensions of our walls. There is a big door right next to our fridge/kitchen that opens up from the floor to about chest high. It runs from one side of the house to the other...that's why the cable guy was in there to run the wires. He showed me a big pile of dung and it smells of cat pee.

Thanks for responding...much appreciated sir.

John P. 4 years ago

To be more specific...the crawl space runs the length of our apartment and there is a large door that easily opens into our apartment. We didn't realize until we'd already moved in.

kew 4 years ago

Hi. I am pregnant and due next April. My apartment has paint peeling from the ceilings that chips onto the floor. The landlord put up tarps but chips fall from the parts of the ceiling that are not covered. The lease ends next September. Can we break the lease and move before April? Thank you.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

John P.: your landlord is responsible for cleaning the crawl space. If you are in NYC you can report him to the Department of Health or HPD.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author


Kew, I would report your landlord to the Dept of Buildings or HPD (or the equivalent agency where you live). If there is a lead paint concern, you should be relocated.

KudosNM 4 years ago

Hi Nicholas,

No question, just wanted to say that the work you are doing in answering these questions is absolutely amazing. I stumbled across it some months back and have been reading ever since and I've learned so much and am in awe of your ability to handle your workload while finding time to help so many. I'm sure everyone who has posted (and who will) would join me in saying THANK YOU so much for doing this.

Best of health to you!

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Thank you for the acknowledgement. It's my pleasure to do this.

adams 4 years ago

i have lived in my apt. for one year two months ago someone new moved in a couple weeks later moved out and left everything last month noticed roaches and told the landlord a month ago and he laugh and said ive never had roaches in my apts he has done nothing i call him everyday and leave a message and nothing what should i do?

adams 4 years ago

we have no lease i looked at the apt. he said rent and then i moved in nothing written or signed .

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

@adams -- 1. call HPD (assuming you live in NYC) and make a complaint; 2. send a complaint to your landlord in writing; 3. consider starting an HP action against your landlord.

FrustatedTenant 4 years ago

Heat and hot water are included in the rent.

I am a month-to-month tenant.

Do not reside in NYC - rather central NY.

My apartment is over a restaurant (noise, odors, lack of parking) - and this is why the rent is below market value.

What I did not know until after moving is that the windows do not permit for ventilation and the restaurant vents blow right into my windows (heat and odors). Due to the tiny windows and lack of ventilation, my electric bills are more than the rent (averaged, year round) and in the summer, I can only get the heat down to approximately 90. The landlord keeps stating the roof vent helps (no, the roof vent blows down more hot air in the summer, and ice cold air in the winter ...along with odors.

PROBLEM: This month, the hot water has been turned off twice - once all day (I missed work, was unable to shower), the second time, it has been off since 3 p.m. and will obviously be off all night and I'll be late for work unless I get up at 4 a.m. to boil water to try a sponge bath. I usually get up at 6 a.m. to get ready for work.

Is the landlord's turning off the hot water twice in one month, okay? I only read "extended period of time."

I am really not sure what to do other than try to save up enough $ to move (something I have been trying to do) - but if I miss work, I am not paid. Showing up for work not showered is not acceptable in my line of work.

June Bug 4 years ago

Question, my husband and I just moved in with my mother-in-law into her rent controlled apartment in Brooklyn. She's had this apartment for over 55 years. My husband and his sisters were actually born and raised in this apartment. My mother in law has been living in pretty bad conditions without saying anything because there has been issues of the LL harassing her and accosting her and my sister in law in the past. They have been to court bc he locked them out once and even removed the toilet.

Anyway, my mother in law is afraid of the guy. There is hardly any electricity in the apartment and I was reading something saying tenants have a right to sufficient electricity? I also saw there should be 1 light fixture and 2 outlets per room?

There is original cloth wiring which we were told was a fire hazard, and there are only 2 outlets in the entire apartment. There are extension cords running all throughout the apartment to deliver lighting through lamps to the other rooms.

There is no electricity or lighting in the bathroom whatsoever, no light in the middle bedroom, and the light fixture in the back bedroom is sparking, and there is no light connected to it.

There are extension cords running to the refridgerator.

Are we able to ask for sufficient electricity?

cm 4 years ago

Hi Nick. My landlord has been doing renovations on the apartment above us, and debris has been falling through the floor and into our apartmemnt through holes around the boiler pipe. I was worried about asbestos, so I got it tested, and the sample I sent did contain small (less than 1%) amounts of asbestos. What should we do? Can we withhold rent until we get a licensed abatement person to come clean our apartment?

Niki 4 years ago

My landlord's sister had someone take out and replace the walls,ceiling and floor on the first floor in the common hallway that leads to the front door and there is still a lot of dust,debris and inconvenience when coming and going outside because of debris , ladder ,garbage can and drills that are blocking the entrance and hallway and I don't think that me and my kids should have to inhale all that dust while coming and going and there also should not be dust inside my doorway and staircase that goes to our second floor.Who knows what's in that plaster ? My landlord and her sister can't take anything threatening but they always threaten me so you can see what kind of people they are.Maybe a call to hpd will clear the situation for me ?What do you think ?

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

@Niki--I would call HPD.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

@cm call HPD, I would not withhold rent at this point.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

@ June Bug -- contact HPD for an inspection.

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Nicholas Moccia 4 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

If I were you, I would find a new apartment.

Tom Lee 3 years ago

I have some issues with my building. I reported it to super within two months of moving in. Instead of fixing the issue, the super used duck tape and plastic to try and mask the problem. The windows in my apartment cannot close and in the winter time, the apartment gets extremely cold despite the heat. I reported it to 311 and nothing was done. Most nights I have to call the super to turn the heat up and sometimes he does not do it. I also have issues rats. These kind of condition are not good for my health. I have a health problem and when I stay in the cold too long, I feel severe pain. The super and I do not have a good relationship. He called me a faggot on several occasion and now I fear for my safety. Do I have any grounds to break my lease?

Tom 3 years ago

I rent an apartment in Brooklyn. Sandy flooded the basement and destroyed the utility room. Our apartment is on the 8th floor and was unaffected but we consider it to be unhabitable. There is heat, hot water and limited electricity. However, full power will not be restored for 6+ weeks. My landlord already gave me a rent abatement of 1 week for the days after the story, but I think I'm entitled to more. What do you think?

meleigh 3 years ago


The apartment right below us is empty and being renovated. Today landlord had the floors varnished but they taped up the seams of the doors to that apt and closed all the windows so there is no ventilation. The smell from the chemicals are rising into our apt. The super cant go in there bc he doesn't want to ruin the floors and get in trouble with management. We've called the management company several times and not heard back.. We have all our windows open but can still smell the varnish. Is there anything we can do for the lack of communication to us that they were going to do this and us having to inhale this air all night and god knows for how many days after?

Thank you

Tr778 3 years ago

Mr. Moccia,

Kudos to you for providing this advice. I'm hoping you might give me a bit of guidance...

I'm a 20+year tenant in a rent stabilized apt. in Manhattan. I've enjoyed a mostly good relationship w/ my landords. Lately they've taken to majorly renovating apartments as they become vacant -- presumably so that they can charge higher rents.

For the past couple of months they've been doing such to the apartment directly above me (albeit, in this particular case the apartment hasn't been vacated, they're creating one apartment out of two for the current tenant).

The noise has been incredible. Day in, Day out: power tools, demolition, debris falling down between the walls etc. etc.

Now I'm not an unreasonable person and I realize they have a right to perform alterations to their property as they see fit. I certaintly don't begrudge them that. They have permits posted and the construction begins at 8:30am and ends at 5pm. So all of that seems to be in order.

I realize that most people work from 9 to 5 and that if that were the case with me, I would miss out on the majority of the noise because it would occurr when I'm "away at work". Well I don't work 9 to 5 and I don't work "away". I'm a freelancer and work at home. Frequently I work late into the night/early morning -- which is probably irrelevant I know. What is relevant, I think, is that I'm finding it very difficult to get my work done ( or sleep, if I've opted to get my work done the night before). It is also SEVERLY impacting the "quiet enjoyment of my leased space".

I've talked to friends and another neighbor in the bldg. who is directly adjacent to the construction and is also a home-worker, and they basically say I'm screwed and that I should just grit my teeth and bear it.

Indeed a reading of what little is available at the 311 site seems to confirm this. However I also found another document on the site which seems to say some things that might be relavent to my situation. Unfortunately no one at 311 or B.E.S.T can seem to give me any clarification as to some of the statements therein. I'm hoping you might be able to offer a bit of guidance.

The document is titled:


and is available at:

Among the interesting things it says:


(f) Interior construction activities within a structure, after window placement, in non-vacant buildings, are classified as creating a minimal noise impact so long as the following conditions are met:

(snipped items 1 and 2)

3. Such work entails only non-structural and non-demolition construction activities as those activities are defined by applicable authorizing agencies; and

4. Such activities take place where the floors directly below and above the floor are unoccupied; and

5. Notice has been given, to the maximum extent possible, to all residents regarding the time, place and nature of the construction activities.


I have tried to get someone at 311 to clarify the statements on this document but they just keep referring me to the website about permissible work days/times. I finally got a referral to BEST which I called and finally got tired of being transferred from one number to the next (with quite a few disconnections in between, of course).

Finally I decided to try the city council website and was able to come up with this about the document:

More legalese that I can't interpret....

I'm sorry for the length and depth of this question, and I seriously don't want to put you out, but I would be very grateful if you could give me your take on all this.

I'm really at wit's end and I don't know how much longer I can put up with this. It sounds like they're about to tear the whole damn bldg. down at times.

I'm about to approach my landlord to see if he's willing to compensate me in some way for what I'm having to endure. Before I do that, however, I'd like to know exactly (or as near to) what I'm up against. Based on past performance, if they perceive that they're within their rights, it really makes no difference what the tenants have to say. So any little bit of leverage I can get would be very helpful.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.



I also found this:

It's a .pdf noise mitigation plan form that indicates that it must be posted at the job site. I've been unable to locate anthing like this posted.

Zach 3 years ago

My girlfriend and I were displaced from our former apartment by flood waters from Sandy. We decided it was time to upgrade anyway and leased a house on higher ground. A week after moving in, the plumbing backed up while we were doing dishes and started leaking sewage from an open standpipe (where the landlord removed a washing machine) into the finished basement. I called the landlord's partner (landlord was out of state) and we had a plumber come and snake it out. The plumber recommended the septic tank be emptied which did in fact turn out to be full. After the tank was emptied, I let the landlord know there was still sewage contamination that needed to be addressed in the basement. A few days later it backed up again leaking into the basement and the plumber cleared it free of charge. It has been three weeks now, I've spoken to both landlords several times and they said they are working on it or pass the responsibility on to the other. Today I left the landlord a voicemail, sent a certified letter informing the landlord that if repairs are not made, I will break the lease, withhold rent, or repair and deduct. I also notified the health dept, who is sending an inspector. What else can we do? We are paying the rent. We just want this fixed! My girlfriend got sick after she pulled back the wet carpet not realizing what it was.



Alex 3 years ago

I lived in Westchester County and moved to CA two months ago. My landlord allowed me 'in good faith' to break my lease so I could move before hurricane Sandy hit. However, he has refused to return my security deposit of $2000 (less any minor repairs such as paint and crayon marks by baby). His reason was due to the fact the apt key was lost (I left it in the mailbox) and not returned. Therefore, he has to put in a new lock warranting no return of the security deposit. This is not mentioned in our lease agreement. I also know that re-keying a lock doesn't cost over $1000. He said he would counter-sue if I took him to small claims. Reading under Real Property Law § 223-b, the landlord cannot retaliate for "(b) the tenant taking good faith actions to protect their rights under the lease". He cannot legally keep my deposit, correct? Although we agreed verbally that I could break my lease, can he retaliate using the original lease agreement to gain additional money? I see this as his only tactic.

I also don't believe the security deposit was ever put in an bank account because I never received a bank notification or letter stating this information, which would be another landlord violation for withholding this information, correct? There was also mold in the bathroom that may have caused of vertigo and nausea multiple times, suitable for law 235-b. The landlord never inspected or repaired the problem and unfortunately, I don't have pictures defeating additional ammunition I had for the landlord. I wouldn't be surprised if it's not repaired for the next tenant -- sorry that's another story...

I believe my landlord is taking advantage of the fact that I moved out of town and he is trying to keep the deposit. I left several messages for the Attorney General at the local courts but have yet to receive a response for assistance. Any suggestions Nick? Do I have a legitimate case? Any next steps I should take and what should I be aware of with the type tricks this landlord might pull in court? It sounds like he's been taken to court before. Will it be worth the cost? I plan on giving my mother 'Power of Attorney' to help resolve this matter.



dawn 3 years ago

ive been having a problem with my landlord making repairs. since i moved in with my family there has been exposed wires from a hole in a wall,uncovered outlets,doors falling apart...etc..he assured me that when my program pays him then he would have the money to start repairs. this was 5 months ago and we still havnt seen no repairs. ive called 311 and made complaints but they also have not helped and made a comment of "it being a waste of their time"....what can i do?

jp 3 years ago

My apartment has some mold on parts of the walls and parts of the ceiling. Instead of talking to the landlord about it my roommate decides to just up and move out without any notice because the mold is a health hazard and it would get us out from the lease. She called the landlord and told her that we were moving out by Feb. 1 '13 and that she had already moved out because of the mold. I spoke with the landlord and she told me that we were supposed to give them the chance to fix the problem and in order for us to break the lease without penalty the apartment had to be tested positive for toxic mold and if we did leave we would have to pay the remaining 6months of rent so I stayed. My roommate says I should move out by feb. 1st anyway because her lawyer said we are definitely getting out of the lease without penalty. This is in upstate NY. I don't know if I should stay and find a new roommmate or just leave and hope shes right.

selfkindness 3 years ago

Nick, thank you in advance for your time.

If a tenants moves in to an apartment, upstate NY, under a lease agreement that the tenant will pay the utilities, but neglects to put the electric in his/her name, can the landlord, whose name the electric is in by default, turn off the elctric?

kim 3 years ago

i currently reside in western ny and the main line backed up and went into my bathtub and toilet and after the landlord "fixed" it he is trying to charge me for the job? can he do that

Dennis 3 years ago


I live in the 6 story building on a six floor and we have 2 elevators.

One of them is not working for 2 years and the second is stop working for about 2 month and still both of them no operable. Is this a breach of warranty of habitability?

Do we entitle for to a rent abatement? Can I stop paying rent and wait till they take to the court?

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Nicholas Moccia 3 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Please direct all inquiries to my office. 718-701-5772. I cannot answer everyone's questions here.

Only LL/T issues in NYC please.

Davis 3 years ago

Our new neighbor has received all new fixtures, carpeting and appliances that they renovated for 3 months. Our apartment has a broken garbage disposal(found by city inspector and our down stairs toilet does not work well also our carpet was dirty from past renters) this however is the least of our worries, we have a 3 month old baby and the new guy smokes like a chimney. The smell is causing not only me to cough but my son to cough and have a constant runny nose. We have complained several times about the smoke. (We share vents with this guy) so they gave us things to go over the vents. This has only made the problem worse. We're miserable in our own home and they refuse to fix them problem. What would be our next step?

Nazmul 3 years ago

My apartment has nearly 30 HPD violations including mice. I can't sleep at night because of mice issue. I stopped paying rent. If the landlord takes me to court, will I be able to get rent abatement?

Richmond 3 years ago

Our landlord didn't vent the gas dryer to the outside. We didn't notice for awhile. When we did noticed, we called in the gas company, who disconnected the dryer and informed us that there was a dangerous amount of carbon monoxide in the house, due the non-vented dryer and an unrelated leak in the stove. Two weeks later, and they still have not vented the dryer, though they have promised to do so imminently.

My question is - can we sue them for a retroactive rent reduction for the months in which we were breathing in carbon monoxide due to their carelessness?

Julia 3 years ago

Hi Nicholas,

We live in a brown stone residential building where the first floor has been turned into a bar (entrance is separate from the rest of the building) and the 2nd floor has been rented out to a tattoo parlor (this entrance is shared with the residential tenants). There are two doors to enter the building- the outer one the Tattoo parlor has claimed they have rights to leave propped completely open from 9am until 11pm 7 days a week. In inner one is halfway up the stairs right at the entrace to the tattoo parlor and has been broken for over 5 months. All 3 tenants in the building have been begging the landlord to fix the door. We didn't withold rent or anything drastic because the tattoo parlor hadn't moved in and the exterior door was locked all the time. Now that they are here and we have 1 broken door and 1 propped door, all of us tenants are scared. The landlord still won't do anything. Even if they evenetually fix the middle door, does the tattoo parlor really have the right to leave the entry door to the building completely open until 11pm at night?

Max 3 years ago

My lease does not say anything about air conditioning, but my apartment has central air. I'm several months behind on my rent and my landlord has started an eviction proceeding. We have not been on very good terms and now the landlord has turned off the air conditioning saying he has no obligation to provide it. Can anything be done?

Smiley12345 3 years ago

There are bedbugs in my building, known apartments infested and confirmed by pest control agency. Order to correct issue by fumigation, but no known plan has been communicated by landlord to tenants. 50 Tenants here, bed bugs are spreading to surrounding apartments. If we wanted to reduce our rent because the apartments are not habitat able, what would the computation be? If we were to pursue legally to regain some of our loses, is there a separate computation for that?

RG082 3 years ago

Hi Nick,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to people's questions here. Your knowledge is really helpful.

I live in a truly lovely apartment overall, but the problem is that there is constantly construction happening especially in the unit next door. On my down time (which is limited) my walls and floor shake from hammering, demolition, pounding, and drilling into walls that I share with the unit next door. I cannot rest, I get headaches and am exhausted. I am forced to leave my unit until evening even when I consistently pay my sizable rent on time. I've been denied a pause on construction during my vacation days at home so I can rest, and I've been denied a reasonable suggestion for rent abatement with a curt response from the management company.

In looking over the Warrant of Habitability, it says a breach could include "Excessive noise as from construction, mechanical equipment or even neighboring tenants” as outlined within New York State Real Property Law s. 235-b. I would like to fight this issue. Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you, and wish you a good day.

evelyn de la cruz 3 years ago

need help n advise,

on 5/29/13 my gas was shut down because the was a liking on the gas pipe. so all the H's line from my building was turn off as well. making simple I don't have gas for 2 months. I been buying food from out side. I call the land lord wht was happing. I been calling 311 and hpd have been caming every week. I called Edison but the respond was tht thy haven't received any document vertify tht the damge have been fix in order to turn it off. I been struggling buying for my partner, my child and my self. I don't kknw wht to next.

plez help

Samantha 3 years ago

My stove and refrigerator don't work! Does my landlord have to pay or do I?

sabox 3 years ago

Hi Nick, I need your advice!

I have been in my apt for exactly two years today and for roughly the past 18 months I have had a serious mice problem in my apt. My first written communication to the landlord about the issue was in Dec 2011 where I complained that the exterminator they were using was only dropping a bag of poison behind the stove then leaving and that I was beginning to have a persistent problem. They continued using the same exterminator and the problem has gotten out of control. Mice have now chewed thru the dry way in two separate locations in my apt (behind the fridge and behind my couch). There are droppings literally everywhere in my apt (under my bed, in my closet, on my couch, in my shoes in my closet, on my bed, on the kitchen counter). I have had to throw away numerous sheets and comforters that I had stored in plastic storage bags under my bed because mice have chewed thru it and laid droppings all over my stuff. Just the other day I found mice droppings on my bed! I have over 40 pics from all over my apt of mice droppings as well as a dead mouse in the middle of my kitchen. I think this probably constitutes a severe rodent issue. My problem is that I just finished my masters program and only started working one month ago. I don't have money for 1st, last, security and broker fee which will be required to move. Legally what are my rights? What can I demand from the landlord and can I withhold rent to save to find a new place to live?

Thanks in advance for your help with this! This issue is really causing me a lot of grief.

Aj0817 3 years ago

My landlord is trying to make everyone move out her building and repair all her violations and she said we can come back after its all done being fix, but she is also not accepting rent from anyone and she doesn't have a court document saying we are allowed to come back after the construction is done. She has 26 violations in lead poisoning alone. And I know there's a total of 172 violations in her building. She has never did anything to fix the building except now that she has all these problems with the city. And she has lawsuits with some tenents in the building because a lot of small children live in it and they have skin problems due to lead poising. And she won't pay for anyone to move out during the time the construction is being done to live in another apartment. And she's lying to everyone in the building about what is going on. And today the contractor came because he thought the building was empty so he can fix it bc that's what he was told by the landlord. But he said he can not fix the building with people living in it and everyone has to move and she has to give us money to move until its done. And he said she told him that she was doing this already. But our landlord said she's not going to do that. So what are we suppose to do in this situation, there's a lot of families in this building and she can't just tell us to move out without giving us court documentation stating we are allowed to come back after the construction is done and I've lived in the building for over 15 years and she's trying to kick everyone out because she wants to fix it and this sell the building. She just can't kick everyone out when no one has a place to live. Is this against the law what she is doing.

judydel 3 years ago

My 18 year old daughter signed a lease on 9/17/13 for an apartment in an old brownstone style building. Upon lease signing we pointed out mold in a bathroom closet and shower. The land lord wrote in the lease that they would address the mold issue. We also pointed out that there were no smoke detectors and they again said they would take care of it. It has been two days, how quickly are they supposed to react to this?

We now realize that there is no ventilation in the bathroom. We thought the vent above the shower was a vent, but now realize it's a heating duct. I'm concerned that there may be mold growing in this duct since it is in a non ventilated bathroom. It is my understanding that a windowless bathroom need mechanical ventilation. Please advise.

Judydel 3 years ago

I should add that the apartment is located in Manhattan. I am also concerned about the wiring. It's obvious they retrofitted the apartment and I'm wondering if it was done to code. For instance, the gas stove has an outlet located right above it. The stove is actually plugged into this outlet located 6 - 8 inches directly above the stove . Also, you can't plug the refrigerator into an outlet directly. You have to use an extension cord.

The prior tenants left a futon in the apartment. When we moved my daughter in, my husband offered to remove the futon. The landlord said no because they wanted to call prior tenant about listing it on Craiglist. The next day the landlord asked that we list it on Craigslist and sell it for the prior tenant. We said absolutely no, and that the landlord should remove the futon ASAP. It has been two days and it has not been removed. How long is reasonable?

debbie 3 years ago

I'm a tenant me and my husband and children rented through a broker a little bungalow three bedrooms with lease .I've been having issues with our landlord he doesn't like to fix things and because of the building he owns right in front of me there's roaches that took over I've paid out of pocket and bomb three times and just going through that with pets and babies is a job and the only day off for hubby is Sunday so that's been he'll there was mild downstairs in basement bedrooms and a heating problem he had to put a heating cistom in I've called 311 and he sent us a letter because he was mad we asked him to fix and replace tv because everything has got ruined because of roaches and I lost so much from the mild down stairs and he sent a letter of cure of the bedrooms downstairs so now I find out the bedrooms must be illegal bedrooms but he rented this to me like this on lease it was rented as three bedrooms and I went to court and they came out and he has over 10 violations and bedrooms we can't use and I fold more mild and they found lead I've been sick here what can I do I've been paying 1400 here we are alone and we live pay check to pay check I'm in ssi and my babies have been coughing for two months the doctors are taking blood test for mild and lead and I just found out I have three nodules on my left lung I don't smoke and he's threatened us I have it on tape and three police reports made please help

stephanie 2 years ago

Can I ask for a rent abatement for not having gas for a period of 7 months and not being provided with a hot plate. I live in an hdfc building and we are tenants. This issue happened from 9/11-3/12 and I withheld rent so im being sued in 11/13.

jakeeli 2 years ago

Help! My fiance' and I rented a single family home in Forest Hills Gardens. The landlord's husband is a contractor, the home was updated (kitchen, bathrooms). We find out there were no permits, and things were not done correctly. There is no heat in the kitchen, or the downstairs bathroom (no radiators, no vents, no way to actually get heat to come in to the room). There was radiant heating in the floors at one time, but that has been disconnected as apparently it had been illegally connected to the hot water heater (something about potable water?). So now we have no heat. The parts of the system that does work has the most horrendous noise and banging coming through the radiators when the heat travels through the home. Additionally there is a central air system that has units missing/non working and we were promised by the landlord that they would fix it. We lived a whole summer without air conditioning.

Having written several letter to the landlord, I have received a letter from their attorney basically telling me the apartment was rented "as is" and that they don't have to do anything. My response is that the home is no longer in "good working condition" and I want to withhold the rent. They have threatened eviction. Now they will not supply heat to the kitchen or bathroom, I offered to have it done at a cost of $1500 and deduct from the rent and I was told I could not do that as it would be a breach of contact or something. Help. I'm cold. what recourse do I have? I have a two year lease, and am only in the 8th month....

Henderson 2 years ago

I need your help. I have a problem with noisy neighbors. They blast their stereo at sleeping hours and they have two yappy dogs that bark all night. I have lived in my Bronx apartment for 4 years and they moved in 1 year ago (dogs came about 2 months ago). I have asked them to keep it down and that conversation was pointless. I have contacted the landlord who told me he will let me out of my newly signed lease. I don’t want to move, I just want peace. Is the landlord violating the Warranty of habitability? If so, what can I do? What is my recourse?

Eileen Tsiapanos 2 years ago

Hi, I've moved out of my apartment in Nassau County. I had a Sectikn 8 voucher and did move out on the 5th of the month, as my kids' apartment wasn't ready yet. I went in, cleaned up andeft the apartment at 3:30am, so I was not allowed to put out the trash (no foodstuffs-just paper towels and things from cleaning) because one cannot put the trash out before 3PM M-F where I was in a mostly business area. My problem is that my landlord sd the apartment and the new owner is SUPPOSED to be giving back my $1650 in security. It's been almost a month at this point. He keeps telling me that after he gets the bill for throwing out a perfectly good, practically new washer, which I told him he could keep and I'd give him the papers for, among a few other things. One of my problems with all this is that I had to live for 10 (ten ) months without a working oven/broiler tho I repeatedly told my LL about it, as well As the ceing in my daughters room pouring down water 4 years ago on Xmas eve all over her bed, which, fortunately she was NOT in. The ceiling remained all black and leaky despite many attempts to "fix it" and my daughter could not use the sink in her bathroom because of the constant drip. I told my LL about this too and he didn't do anything. I was going to replace the faucet myself but when I went to unscrew the hot water side, the screw disintegrated. There was also a crack in the sink, which I had to put silicone on cuz the LL didn't fix that either, tho I asked him to. Now, what are my rights with the security I have yet to receive back? Please

Casey 2 years ago

Hi Nicholas,

My friend and I just signed a January 1st lease, that seemed clean and bright in Brooklyn. We asked all the right questions of the broker, including if it were bug free, requested the super to be present on signing although he didn't show up and believed to look thoroughly throughout the 6th floor walk up apartment. We had to have movers separately and my roommate was the first one to move in on December 30th (costing $290). She did not get the chance to stay the night until the evening of the first of January. From the time she was finally in around 8, she found an incredible amount of roaches to the point where she couldn't sleep because they were climbing on her bed. We attempted to kill them off ASAP with RAID and called and texted our landlord and broker. In the meantime we had to leave the apartment because of its inhabitable condition leaving my roommates belongings behind. We not only found three nests but noticed baking soda over outlets that had previously not been there (a home remedy for roach control). Speaking to the management company and frustrated they offered us full security deposit and first months back. We did not have the same luck with the broker company. After she verbally attacked my roommate and myself on the phone and told us it wasn't her problem and we weren't getting our money back. I sent a follow up to the real estate agency that represents her and within 2o minutes she offered to pay us back half. Should we take half of the $1650 and cut our losses and lose the $290 for the movers or are we entitled the full sum? Please help.

Keiny Henao 2 years ago

Hello Nicholas, I have lived in a building (Not from Housing) in Washington Heights, NYC for many years now(if I had more money, I'd move) and every single winter the very old boiler breaks down. So far, this winter has been the worst! Practically once a week! I have spoken to other tenants and the super and I was informed that if Landlord puts in a new boiler, they will raise the rent. I called several phone numbers to see if this is legal and true and yes it is. At this point, I want them to change it, I'm tired of living in a freezing building every winter! Problem is, most of these tenants of mine won't back me up because they pay cheap rent. At this point, what can I do against or towards the landlord? They always sending the mechanic and I know they get Fined by HPD because super tells me, but Landlord doesn't care. He prefers to keep paying fines and the mechanic than putting a new boiler. So they are aware of the problem, but can care less if we all freeze to death in these ridiculous temperatures. Will I be wasting my time fighting alone in court? What other companies can I reach for help? Thank you.

Nicholas Moccia profile image

Nicholas Moccia 2 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I am not answering questions in this forum. Please visit my website and contact my office directly.

April 2 years ago

I have five cats, all very healthy and indoors. I also have a dog. There is no roof in the boiler room and a hole in the door caused by workers who half ass fixed the ceiling after superstorm sandy. The super made a police complaint one night becuase two of my cat got stuck in the hallway wall through the boiler room entrance into the ceiling. The only problem the police noticed when I myself invited them into my apartment was cat odor smell. The smell only sometimes is in the hallway near my door during days when I am too busy to clean the apartment. At the same time however, no matter how clean I keep my apartment the fact remains that there is still a faint cat urine odor within the first floor of my one bedroom duplex. My question is whether I can get arrested for animal neglect and abuse and/or have my dog and cats taken away?And can I get evicted for the reasons mentioned above. I have recently gone to great lengths to mask the smell with fabreeze plug-ins and deodorizer sprays which seems to keep the smell down for the most part. My gut feeling is that there is cat urine within the ceiling of the apartment and that if the landlord would keep up the place like he is supposed to then this would not be happening.

Ayisha 2 years ago

I pay my rent on the fifteenth of ever month and have live in my apt. In Brooklyn for at least 10 yrs. on jan 15th I paid rent for 1/15-2/15, however, on 1/18 I did not get any heat, the landlord called me, because the tea net upstairs from complained they were not getting heat. The landlord had someone come and bleed the radiators. The tenant upstairs received heat that night. I have not received heat since. Today is 2/14, rent is do tomorrow. Landlord said again that they have to fix pipe in my place which means the have to break wall and they maybe able to do it next week. What can I do

joanne 2 years ago

I have good reason to believe there is asbestos in my rental, I've asked my landlord to see a report on it but he will not show me, only insists that their is no asbestos. Is this legal? what if I have been living in this asbestos for the past year and a half?

bob 2 years ago

Ok i been living in an apartment for 1 and a half years . About seven to eight months ago new tennants moved in . Six weeks after i started seeing roaches i call the land lord every month about it . Well finally the tennants got evicted two weeks ago but the land lord has not taking care of the problem. I have pics of how infested the other apartment is as well as videos . As well as pics and videos of my apartment . Lived here for almost a year without any roaches six weeks after the new tennants moved i. N i saw some called the land lord right away. Almost eight months later the problem is still here ? What should i do i been treating my apartment with my own stuff the wholr time and just recently treated the other apartment on my own . Dont wanna move untilk the issue is solved cuz i dont want to be dragging that around to a new place im so fed up . I have tons of poisin out in my apartment . Only proof i have that it did not come from me is the pics and videos showing that even the empty apartment is soo infested . It shows my house is fairly clean and all the poison plz help tired and fed up

ellen 2 years ago

we have been offered a very small studio apt in a mittchell lama co-op complex in manhatten. asked to buy it sight unseen. we refused. saw it and my mouth fell open. left unsold for 5 to 7 years. red rust covered tub sink and toilet. dust an inch thick on floors walls ceiling. faucets don't work ,outlets painted over . access to electric panel restricted by being painted over. the apt needs a crime scean cleaning. I asked for the co op mantanance workers to clean but fear they wont. after we buy it can we ask hpd to intercede and fix before we move in? or can we pay for repairs and ask for refund.? rules don't allow us to ask for another apt in better condition. wow what a mess.

Angie 2 years ago

Hi there. I live in a doorman high-rise in NYC, and our building is attached to a diner. Whenever we open our windows, we smell diner grease. Does this qualify us for a rent abatement under "offensive odors?"

ChaosReins 2 years ago


Renting a 1 bedroom apartment in a house in Suffolk County. A few minor repairs need to be done, (hedges blocking the walkway), outside light, microwave and air conditioner are broken, and two outlets aren't working. I was told she would fix it and was OK with that. Here is my problem.....I cannot sleep, her son 20 years old, is selling drugs, i have seen it myself and also smoking them in front of my bedroom window with his customers. He is up and down the stairs all day and night and the driveway is very active with customers too, which is right outside my window, so the headlights blare right in as well as the noise. I told the landlord, and her head is in the sand, he does nothing to conceal what he is doing by any means. She said she "handled it", but 1:30AM I am awoken again (after she handled it) and am becoming very angry over this situation. I am afraid and have my car out in the driveway as well, I do not want the son to know i told for fear he will retaliate. what can I do after I have told her and she has not addressed the issue? Please help.

Phyllis 2 years ago

I have been living in my studio apartment for 22 years. I have asthma, chronic sinusitis and had pneumonia. The exhaust fans on the roof were not working for years and there was no ventilation in my apartment, also the kitchen vent was closed and the bathroom vent was not exhausting the dirty dusty air along with odors was coming into the apartment, I have 2 windows facing the back and one window has an air conditioner. The super claims the fans are fixed. Now the landlord wants the super to clean the air vents and I want a professional to clean the vents and ducts which are full of dust and spiders. How can I get the landlord to get a professional air vent/duct cleaner?

Ann 2 years ago

My friend is on disability for mental and physical reasons. I am his payee for his SSI payments. I also help him keep his life in order because he is easily confused and can't keep a lot of information in his head. So, since he moved into his apartment a couple of years ago, he has complained of bugs in his room. The landlord took his mattress and he has had to sleep on the floor which, along with the walls and ceiling is covered with thousands of bedbugs. Since his landlord refused to do anything about it and accused him of bringing the bedbugs in. Yesterday he called the Board of Health and they cited the landlord because the apartment is uninhabitable. Today the landlord had a Constable serve the tenant with and eviction notice. It stated that if he was not out by Dec 1 court proceedings would be brought against him. What legal rights does my friend have in this case?

Jessica 23 months ago

My husband and our neighbors have been physically attacked by a dangerous neighbor, and our dangerous neighbor forced his way into our neighbors apartment. We have a cockroach and rat infestation, along with our our other neighbors having a leak that has not been repaired which is causing the ceiling to begin to fall. I have sent a request to break lease due to the situation and have been told that I am responsible for rent until the lease had ended, and any fees that they incur if we leave early. I don't know what to do now?

jazzmine 22 months ago

my landlord sent me a letter after the septic tank was pumped saying i had to pay $360 which was the cost to pump it. he said that maxie pads had clogged the filter. i live in a duplex and share a septic tank with a neighbor. why would my landlord send me the whole bill? we didn't do it. wouldn't he send half to me and half to my neighbor who shares the tank. the last time the tank was pumped he told me their was excessive grease down their and if that happened again i would have to pay to have it pumped. i told him we didn't put grease down the drain and that he should talk to our neighbor. well as far as i know he never did and he has been trying to blame everything on me and make me pay the whole bill when i never put grease, maxie pads or anything else that i am not supposed to down the drain. i have rented from the same company for almost 7 years and the duplex we were in before had a septic tank and we never had any problems. my point is. we have always taken good care of the home that we rent and don't do stuff like that. do i have to take him to court or wait for him to take me to court because i am not paying him $360 when it is his responsibility to pump the tank and i have taken excellent care of his property and all the other ones that i have rented. i have excellent references. again i did not nor did anyone in my home or my family ever put maxie pads down the toilet and i always put my grease in the trash can.

Mega 14 months ago

Can you claim a violation of warranty of habitability if landlord provided temporary housing but neglected to make repairs in a timely fashion.

Donna 10 months ago

Renovations to rented condo going on for 5 months now! Today, I finally broke into tears, due to constant construction noise, hammering non-stop, Everyday, Mon-Fri.,from 7:00 am to 6:00pm! It has been hell! I'm sure non-stop hammering is a form of torture, cuz I'm past "losing my mind"! I can't think at all and have become so depressed due to the constant noise! Furthermore, I've become imprisoned because I have strange men hanging all over outside of condo, in my windows, in hallway entry/exits. I can't open curtains for light unless I accept strangers looking in, so no privacy. Whisles n gaulking just to get to my car or back home. I don't think condo regime/POA has any management overseeing project due to all that I've witnessed. (ie no timeframe for completion, no notices for bleach powerwashing of balcony, stuff ruined, including Xmas decor put up the day before, notices requiring me to lock up pets, then no shows....pets suffering too! The list is endless) Living here has been hell, like a warzone! Therefore, shouldn't I get some rent already paid back, plus discount moving forward? I can't afford to move AND pay current rent. What's a tenant to do? Pls advise. This situation has made me sick! I'm in Bluffton, SC. (Hilton Head Island) Thank you very much in advance for any suggestions.

P.S. Rent raised by $115 starting Jan.1st, 2016!

Richard 7 months ago

I rented an apartment a few months ago. There is no window but a door that leads to a semi-private outdoor area (shared with 3 other apartments). The bedroom is lofted. In the winter time, the heat (which we do not control) makes the loft area--where we seleep--unbearably hot. The only way to make it bearable is to open the door to the outside and keep it opened during the nights, which is not so safe. In the summertime there won't be a way to cool down the lofted area at all. Our neighbors' lease is expiring and are moving out because of this reason. We have a 2 year lease. Is there any kind of breach of warranty of habitability if the apartment gets too hot? Does it matter that the landlord never mentioned this when we rented the apartment, even though he was aware of it?

Natalya 5 months ago

Hi Nicholas,

I'm living in the 6 story building on a six floor.Our elevator was upgraded last summer. it was out of work for 9 weeks. Finally it was done! But now we are received the notice to tenant Of MCI rent increase application. i believe that everyone is suffering due to unstable economic time. Do the tenants responsible for cost of upgrading?

BoHonk 4 months ago

We haven't had drinkable water on tap in over ten years. We get bottled water but often(usually) need to wait for it to be delivered. What is the requirement for drinkable water in a NYS rental? 3 months ago

I live in Brooklyn, NY in a partial coop/rental building. My apartment is a rental. Recently my apartment was damaged by a water leak from the coop apartment above me. My management office was not addressing the issue and continued to refer me to the coop board president to resolve the problem because it was the result of a coop apartment. The board president was not trying to resolve the problem and pushing back to the management company of my rental apartment. I had filed several HPD complaints and finally was able to arrange for an inspector to come in. He issued violations for the damage. So I also sent a letter to my management company noted the damages in my letter. NO RESPONSE till day. Recently while my daughter was home another HPD inspector visited and when my daughter opened the door and told the inspector we just had an inspection he said he needed to inspect anyway. So you let him in and she directed him to the kitchen were the damage was. He didn't really pay attention to that but was focused on the futon bed that I have in the adjacent room from my kitchen. He said that she needed to take the bed out of the kitchen. The bed is not in the kitchen is in a adjoining room. He was then done with his inspection and said he was going to file the violation for the bed in the kitchen. My daughter asked him a reference/complaint number and he refused to give it to her and did not want to provide any information except for his name. Sure enough I looked a few days later I see the building violation for the bed in the kitchen. BUT it is in an adjoining room. Worst of I have no complaint number associated with this violation, when in fact I have all the complaint number is filed with 311 but not for this. I believe that this inspector was possible sent by the board president who was upset that they had to fix my apartment and told me out right several times that they weren't going to fix my apartment. Is it a violation to have a futon bed in adjoining room from the kitchen? and my complaint never stated anything about a bed in the kitchen, no did anyone make a complaint about the bed in the adjoining room. It pertained to a water leak, cracks in wall, and ceilings, and peeling paint.

Lisa Manhattan 2 months ago

Is it legal for a landlord in NYC Housing Authority to withhold a tenant lease for 6 months, & then charge retro active rent to tenant? Isn't this illegal?

Lorraine 2 months ago

We rented an apartment in a 3 family house in Brooklyn(don't know if legal) with a move in date of August 1st. I paid one months rent and security. When we moved our belongings to the apartment on August 1st, the apartment was not ready. The two back bedrooms were ok but the bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining area were in disrepair. The landlord said he didn't have time to finish sanding and painting the walls, repairing the kitchen sink, dish washer and cabinets, and the toilet and tub. All our belongings are still in boxes with tarps and the apartment is not done. We have been staying in PA but we have to return on the 20th because my husband is getting surgery on the 22nd. We texted the landlord yesterday and he told us it would be done but not ready yet. That is the third time he said that. What do we do if it's not ready? Can we break the lease? Thank you.

Sleepless in NY 7 weeks ago

I had someone move next to me and the very next day they knocked on my door and said they have bed bugs and bites , me being a licensed pesticide applicator (7A) knowing that bedbugs take time to settle (like Us) in a new place and where we are they do frequently bed bug check. There really is no chance they got bite and knew that they were bed bug unless they brought them with them .They paid for them to stay in a hotel for almost 3 weeks and paid for new mattress's and couch and love seat and paid some of their bills and daily food vouchers till they are back in their apartment , next they moved them to another apartment and they lived there only one day then reported it. Now my family adjacent to this apartment and living here for 6 years and pay my rent on time now have bed bugs and my central air conditioner is also broken and has been for months where my electric bill has been double because it never shuts off because of low Freon , when they finally came to fill it took 7 1/2 pounds of Freon and the tech said that's way too much. I have a 4 bedroom apartment and 6 years of living now I have to pack as if I was moving and 99%.9 of the bed beg ctivity is the wall adjacent to the apartment that was just treated and the host went to a motel then another apartment. I have done over 400 bed bug jobs and was never on this side of the fence but now I am because of a shitty job done by ERLICH PEST CONTROL OF SYRACUSE NY . I had my friend also inspect the apartment and he said with a pinhole camera in the wall that there is still activity inside the walls and that should of been treated to prevent the bugs from moving on. I bought 700 hundred dollars worth of natural spray that works to help me in my home and asked my landlord which is housing visions of Syracuse Ny.Cont

Sleepless in NY 7 weeks ago

To buy me new mattress for my kids that have not been here for 2 weeks and they only bought me mattress covers, which they also bought for my neighbor that brought them with her and all the other stuff they got. I am asking for very little but getting no where and with my Central Air down it helps the bugs move better. I am going to take them to small claims court for not working with me and 2 weeks later my apartment still has not been sprayed, it was scheduled for the other day but ERLICH pest control forgot to inform me about not being here for 4 hours when they spray , I wanted to be here to make sure it was done right and was willing to sign a waiver . I will give my Landlord one more chance before I file in small claims.

SleepLess in Ny 7 weeks ago

One more very important comment my Property Mangers Boss (Melody) of Housing Visions of Syracuse NY made to me was That you should expect this when you move into a apartment complex. Also that I could be in volition of my lease if my apartment is not prep for the spray of the pest control company. I have 6 years worth of living and if I packed every room , I would not be able to stay here. Let me know your thoughts thanks

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