If you're a renter in New York City, you'll no doubt need to ask your management company or landlord to make repairs on your dwelling. Though there are laws requiring certain standards of living conditions, getting the repairs you need in a timely manner can sometimes be a challenge. If you find that things simply aren't being taken care of as they should be, check out these top five ways to get your NYC landlord to make repairs.
1. Put Your Request in Writing
If you're not quite ready to look for condos and apartments for sale in NYC, you'll need to find ways to work within your current rental situation. The first thing you should do if something is broken in your unit or building is to put a request into your landlord or management company. Sending your request by certified mail is your best bet in order to create a paper trail and so no one can claim not to have received your letter. If your lease lists a landlord's preferred method of contact, use that first. Be sure to note every outreach attempt so that you have a record of it should you need to pursue legal action in the future.
2. Tip Your Super
While it may seem unnecessary to tip someone when you just want them to do their job, tipping your building super may be a strategic and simple approach to get your repair some attention. In today's New York City housing market, you may find yourself renting for a bit longer, so it might make sense to do all you can to improve your rental experience. Tipping can be a great incentive. You may find you receive better service or even an upgrade on things like appliances.
3. Call 311
If you can't get the attention you need from your landlord and the situation presents a health concern, there is something you can do. Call 311. Calling this number allows you to make a formal report of the presenting health or safety issue. Depending on the type of violation, an inspector from the appropriate agency will be sent to check it out. Your landlord will likely receive a fine and will have to deal with the problem in an efficient manner.
4. Go to Court
Going to court is usually a last resort, but it can sometimes be necessary. If your issue is severe or your home is uninhabitable, you will receive an expedited hearing. You can typically get help from a housing court clerk to prepare what is known as a "Housing Part" proceeding, or "HP". This costs you nothing, as city attorneys will present your case.
5. Withhold Rent
If you've taken the above steps, you should be in a position in which you can withhold rent and not face consequences from a court. That's because conditions that are a hazard to safety fall under what is known as a "warrant of habitability" claim. Just be sure you've documented your steps well and have clear photos of the damage. Also, write down every attempt you've taken to reach your landlord as a way to strengthen your case.
These are some ways you can get your New York City landlord to make repairs. When you're ready to make a move, a company like Manhattan Miami Real Estate can make the process seamless.