The news has been filled lately with sad stories of death and injury due to fires in rental housing in New York. One story making headlines involves a Buffalo family that lost three of its members, including an 8-year-old girl, in a 2016 house fire. Loved ones sued the Brooklyn-based landlord for negligence and won a default judgment now worth $5.4 million. According to The Buffalo News, they're still waiting payment.
If you are a tenant in the Big Apple, there are several rights that you have. These rights can vary from city to city and state to state, so it's up to the tenant to know his or her rights and the responsibilities of the landlord. Below, you will find three rights that you have as a tenant:
Your living situation is an incredibly important part of your life, obviously. Everyone expects a peaceful, warming and welcoming home to live in. So when a landlord fails to live up to his or her standards thus putting the tenants at risk, it is no wonder that the people living in the building get upset and assert their rights.
New York City residents likely remember seeing images of the aftermath of a gas explosion that rocked the city's East Village neighborhood last March. As a result of the explosion and fire, two people died and dozens more were injured and lost their homes when the building went up in flames. Nearly one year later, the individuals responsible for causing the dangerous conditions which led to the explosion have been formally charged.
Residents of New York City are all too familiar with the rising costs of living in the city. Among the most expensive of all living costs are those related to renting an apartment. According to an April article in Time Out Magazine New York, today a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan rents for an average of $3,100 per month.
In New York City, space is in high demand and landlords readily exploit every opportunity to attract more tenants and increase rent prices. Some landlords have even gone so far as to illegally section off portions of an apartment to create additional living spaces that they then rent out as single units. The practice is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous as these illegally partitioned units don't comply with legal safety codes and often don't allow tenants access to emergency exits.
New York City is home to some of the most expensive and opulent apartments in the world. It's also, unfortunately, home to thousands of apartment buildings that are lacking basic amenities and riddled with serious safety deficiencies. Representing some of the worst living conditions throughout the city are those buildings included on the Public Advocate's Office’s recently released annual Landlord Watch List.
Last winter was one of the coldest and snowiest on record in New York City. As record cold temps and multiple nor'easters pounded the region, many residents were forced to stay home. For some of these residents; broken hot water heaters, malfunctioning boilers and frozen or broken water pipes compounded an already difficult situation.
Legally, New York City tenants have a right to live in a building and individual unit that is free of unsafe and hazardous conditions and materials. Despite the laws that govern the contractual obligations of landlords within the city, some building owners and landlords blatantly disregard the complaints of tenants and fail to maintain and repair the properties they own.
New York City is in the midst of a public health crisis as a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak has claimed the lives of 12 city residents. The first reported case of the pneumonia-like illness was reported early last month. Since that time, more than 110 people have reportedly fallen ill and 12 have died.