State and City laws provide that you have the right to a safe and habitable apartment. The New York City Administrative Code provides a detailed set of requirements landlords must comply with, and landlords can receive violations for failure to provide adequate heat and hot water, the existence of mice and roaches, leaks, cracks or holes in the wall, and many other common problems. Yet many landlords let their apartments fall into disrepair, especially rent-regulated apartments. Tenants in market rent apartments justifiably worry about angering their landlord with too many complaints.
If there are conditions in your apartment requiring repair, document everything carefully. Be sure to notify the landlord of your complaints. You can call “311” and the city will send an inspector to document the violations. These are important first steps in getting the repairs that you need.
Any tenants can file an “HP” action in housing court to compel the landlord to make repairs. We have assisted tenants with many such cases, and we can also advise you on how to proceed on your own. Don’t sit on your rights when it comes to having a safe and habitable home.