sidewalk covered in snow

What Are Seasonal Maintenance Expectations in NYC Rentals?

Different seasons can create different issues for a property owner, but what happens if you’re a renter? Who is responsible for these seasonal maintenance tasks, you or your landlord? If there is any confusion about who should handle what, then you may need the help of a New York City tenants’ rights lawyer.

What Seasonal Maintenance Should Be Handled By a Landlord?

There are some types of seasonal maintenance that a landlord is required to take care of according to state law. Heating the building is a good example of this. In “heat season,” which starts October 1st and ends on May 31st, a landlord must heat the building to a certain temperature on days when the outside temperature has dropped to below 55 degrees.

Ensuring that tenants also have hot water is also the landlord’s responsibility in most cases, but this requirement is a year-round one and not a seasonal obligation. Most of the time, a landlord is also responsible for maintaining pipes, fixtures, and other equipment that could be damaged by the cold. If a pipe freezes and bursts, that’s often going to be the landlord’s responsibility to fix.

Can Seasonal Maintenance Clauses Be Included in a Lease Contract?

It could. This is why you need to review any lease that you sign carefully. There are some types of seasonal maintenance that a tenant could be held responsible for. A good example of this is shoveling snow.

A property owner or manager is often responsible for a task like this. However, a clause could be included in a lease contract that makes this a tenant’s responsibility. This is less common in a multi-family building where there are many tenants and rented units. It’s more likely that someone responsible for renting an entire building, like a townhouse, would have this kind of obligation.

Can Commercial Leases Be More Complicated When It Comes to Seasonal Maintenance?

We’ve mostly talked about residential leases and buildings so far. When it comes to seasonal maintenance on a commercial property, matters can get a bit more complicated.

Commercial leases often contain provisions about maintaining and upgrading the property. You could be responsible for the area in front of your store if it snows, for example, but that’s it. It’s important to know exactly what you will be obligated to do each season when renting a commercial space.

Do I Need an Attorney?

If you believe that your lawyer is breaching your original lease contract, then you may need the help of an attorney. Whether they have assigned certain tasks to you without any formal agreement or they won’t provide heat and other services required of them, we are ready to assist you.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you need help reviewing a lease or you believe that your landlord is not properly handling their seasonal maintenance obligations, we may be able to help you. Contact Robert Rosenblatt & Associates to schedule an appointment with our team.

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