How Do I Get My Landlord to Compensate Me?


Q: For the past 15 years, I have lived in a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan. In early July, my oven broke and I texted the super. A few weeks later, after nothing was fixed, I contacted the managing agent requesting the repair and a rent reduction. It wasn’t until October that a functional oven was finally delivered, and I paid my rent with a note explaining that I was deducting $200 to cover the cost of a toaster oven, which I bought as a temporary solution. I got back a certified letter asking me to pay the $200, plus $155 in legal fees. Can I fight this?

A: You are entitled to live in an apartment with a functioning oven. Denying you one probably breached your warranty of habitability, a state statute. So, you may be entitled to a rent reduction.

“Withholding rent is fine,” said Peter A. Schwartz, a Manhattan lawyer who specializes in rent stabilization and is head of the real estate department at the Manhattan law firm Graubard Miller. “It was intended that you have a working oven.”



Source link Real Estate

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