Every tenant in New York has the right to a decent living and substantial repairs on the property should be done by the landlord or the leaser of the property to ensure a habitable and safe home for the tenant. Faulty door locks, repainting the property, malfunctioned heater, leaking roof among other common damages resulting from day to day use of the property should all be taken care of by the landlord urgently after tenant notifies them. Damages from natural causes such as floods and storm should also be taken care of by the landlord. Some of the conditions that the landlord can be held liable are those that result from the tenant's ignorance and mistakes such as broken furniture, burnt carpet, unauthorized paintings on the wall and replacing common light bulbs. It is also your responsibility to observe the terms of the lease including paying your rent in time.
As a tenant, you need to report defective conditions on the property to have the landlord repair them and this should be done in writing. Our professional request for repair letter helps you to list down all the damages to be repaired while quoting the respective housing laws to let the landlord know that you know your rights. Be sure to also include photos and videos showing the defective areas while reporting to the landlord. This will ensure that you have proof of having notified them if the matter ends up in court later.
The landlord's failure to observe the provisions of the state laws risk legal action which comes with hefty penalties. This letter details all the necessary information regarding the state laws and is meant to cordially request the landlord to make repairs as a matter of urgency while also reminding them that there are consequences if they fail to do so. Usually, this letter is all you need to send to have the repairs tended to in a timely manner.
Are tenants allowed to "Repair and Deduct" in New York?
In New York, under the Warranty of Habitability law, if the landlord neglects their responsibility of repairing the property, you have the option of either withholding rent or using part or whole of it for repair expenses under a "Repair and Deduct" clause. This is regardless of whether you have a lease or not. Although suing the landlord is also an option in New York, it could take much time and be stressful following up with court proceedings.
To retain proof if there are issues later, be sure to send this letter through a certified mail to get a return receipt and also save a copy.