making emergency repairs to apartment

What Are Lease Provisions for Emergency Repairs in NYC?

When your apartment is in dire need of emergency repairs, you probably want them handled as soon as possible. Does this mean taking care of the repairs yourself or do you have to keep pestering your landlord to address them? This depends on the provisions in your lease, and you may need the help of a New York City tenants’ rights lawyer to settle matters.

Who is Responsible For Emergency Repairs?

If you are living in an apartment, you have a “warranty of habitability.” This means that you have the right to live somewhere that is fit for human habilitation. This is why your landlord is responsible for dealing with issues like a lack of hot water or a bug infestation. They also must make emergency repairs when something is interfering with your ability to live peacefully.

However, there is an exception to this rule. Your landlord is not responsible for making emergency repairs if you are the one who caused the problem. If you damaged something purposefully, you will have to pay out of your own pocket for repairs.

Is There a Timeline for Emergency Repairs?

A landlord is supposed to handle emergency repairs within a “reasonable” amount of time. The definition of reasonable might differ to some people, but generally this means that they should respond within 24 hours if conditions are immediately hazardous and within 30 days for other conditions.

What Can I Do If My Landlord Won’t Handle Emergency Repairs?

You should contact your landlord right away when emergency repairs are needed. If they do not respond, then you should send them a letter via certified mail. Keep a copy for your own records too. This should be enough to get a response.

If this does not work, you may have to go above your landlord’s head. You can file a complaint with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, also known as the HPD. You can also pay for the repairs yourself and deduct it from your rent, but this can be tricky. We recommend talking to one of our lawyers before you go this route.

What If I’m a Commercial Tenant?

We have talked a bit about residential tenants, like apartment dwellers, but what about commercial tenants? If you are a business owner and you’re renting a space, you need to carefully read over your lease to see who is responsible for emergency repairs. Commercial leases differ from residential leases in some key ways.

One thing that sets them apart is that landlords and tenants can come to different types of agreements about who can cover costs. A residential tenant would probably not make a deal where they pay property taxes or repair costs, but a commercial tenant might. You need to see what you’ve agreed to before accusing your landlord of not handling their responsibilities.

Contact a Landlord-Tenant Lawyer

If you are having any kind of dispute with your landlord, we may be able to help. Contact Robert Rosenblatt & Associates to schedule a free consultation with our team. We can tell you more about what our attorneys can do to assist you.

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