Q: For the past 15 several years, I have lived in a lease-stabilized condominium in Manhattan. In early July, my oven broke and I texted the super. A several months later on, soon after nothing at all was fixed, I contacted the taking care of agent requesting the repair and a hire reduction. It wasn’t until eventually Oct that a practical oven was finally delivered, and I compensated my lease with a note conveying that I was deducting $200 to protect the price tag of a toaster oven, which I bought as a short-term resolution. I bought again a certified letter inquiring me to pay back the $200, plus $155 in authorized expenses. Can I struggle this?

A: You are entitled to dwell in an condominium with a working oven. Denying you one particular possibly breached your warranty of habitability, a state statute. So, you may be entitled to a rent reduction.

“Withholding lease is good,” said Peter A. Schwartz, a Manhattan law firm who specializes in rent stabilization and is head of the authentic estate department at the Manhattan regulation business Graubard Miller. “It was meant that you have a operating oven.”

Because your apartment is rent stabilized, you could have submitted a grievance of lessened products and services with the Division of Housing and Neighborhood Renewal, the point out company that oversees these kinds of flats. You may perhaps have gotten a lease reduction from the company, but because the difficulty has been corrected, that window has shut.

Nonetheless, it is not far too late to make a warranty of habitability assert. You could sue the landlord in small promises or civil court. If you win, a decide could award you the $200, or extra.

Or, you could do nothing. You gave management created see and communicated the problem to them. You’ve established a paper trail. Never repay the $200 or the authorized service fees, and see what takes place. Management may possibly drop the situation, at which issue you could just transfer on. Or, they could choose you to housing courtroom for nonpayment of rent. Housing court is not with no hazard, as you could end up on a tenant blacklist. But even if you dropped the case, you would not get rid of your condominium, and you have a sturdy defense, according to Mr. Schwartz. A choose could rule in your favor, awarding you the abatement, or rising it.

As considerably as the authorized service fees are worried, your landlord can only accumulate legal charges if they gain a circumstance against you in courtroom, and only if your lease enables for it. But lawful service fees lower equally ways: If you earn the situation, the choose could award you the lawful service fees.

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By Ellie