Author Topic: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord  (Read 753 times)

the_gastropod

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Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« on: July 14, 2019, 09:13:24 AM »
Looking for some advice here. My AC unit in my apartment kicked the bucket. It was included with the apartment, and is installed in a casement window on a fairly high floor (Iím not at all comfortable replacing this thing myself). I contacted my landlord ~3 weeks ago about this, and he sent back a list of a couple AC units on Amazon he was prepared to order. I responded that I didnít really care which one, letís just get it fixed (itís July, and has been 90+ degrees several days). 2 weeks go by, and I hear nothing. I respond again, asking for an update, and he apologizes, telling me heís out of town for work, and it slipped his mind. Heís ordered a new unit, and it should arrive within 5-7 days. When it arrives, we can schedule a time for the building super to install it.

So when all this is said and done, Iíll have gone ~4 weeks or so, during the hottest month of the year, without AC. I donít imagine itís unreasonable to request a discounted rent for next month. What would be an appropriate way of calculating that discount (assuming it is fair to ask at all). For reference, I pay $2000 for rent.

Jon Bon

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 11:45:43 AM »
A month with no AC is kind of a shitty thing to do to a tenant. ESPECIALLY if its a freaking window unit. I can get one ordered on my phone to my tenant with in 48 hours.

That being said yes I think you can ask, I would say probably $500 would be fair? Maybe a bit more. Was it so hot it kept you out of the apartment?  If that was the case Id ask for 1/2.

IF they give you static about it I would thinking about reaching out to your local housing/rental/apartment authority on this. I am sure they would offer you a free inspection and require your LL to make code approved repairs to any deficiencies that they find. Granted this is the nuclear option so tread lightly.


herbgeek

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2019, 01:45:05 PM »
Do you have a lease and is A/C explicitly mentioned as being part of your rent?  If its not, legally you really have nothing to stand on, if the A/C is not mentioned.  Still wouldn't hurt to ask for a couple of hundred off.  All he can do is say no.  I wouldn't go or even threaten to go to housing court over this.

terran

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2019, 01:57:19 PM »
Do you have a lease and is A/C explicitly mentioned as being part of your rent?  If its not, legally you really have nothing to stand on, if the A/C is not mentioned.  Still wouldn't hurt to ask for a couple of hundred off.  All he can do is say no.  I wouldn't go or even threaten to go to housing court over this.

Really? I'm not saying the OP can or should get money off the rent because I really don't know, but I've never seen a lease that said I was guaranteed heat or a roof either and think both of those is a reasonable expectation just. I think you can have the expectation that anything functioning when you moved in will continue to function or be repaired unless explicitly excluded (like the landlord made it clear the previous tenant had left the window unit and that the OP was welcome to keep/use it, but that it wasn't something the landlord would take responsibility for).

Rosy

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2019, 02:13:49 PM »
Maybe he doesn't have the funds for a new unit? Ya never know.

50% off the rent when it is 90 degrees is not unreasonable, but I have no experience with such things.
Offer to order the unit yourself and sent him the bill which you will deduct from next months rent.
There really isn't any excuse for not replacing an AC in July - stat!

Freedomin5

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2019, 03:10:54 PM »
I donít know about where you live, but where I live, landlords are required to ensure that the apartment is in a ďlivableĒ condition. This happened to us once with our washing machine. I priced out a replacement and got a quote for installation, the.n I told the landlord that my guy was ready to come tomorrow to install and I could get same day delivery for the model I selected. I would then deduct the cost of the machine and the service call from next monthís rent. I also told him whatís it would cost him and said I would give him the receipts to prove that I am not lying to him. Well, miraculously, our new washing machine arrived the next day (the most basic crappy model ever but still), and the landlord showed up in two days to install it.

 Waiting four weeks for a window ac unit is ridiculous, especially in a hot area of the country. Keep in mind though, our lease stated that the landlord must provide us with a working washing machine.

bacchi

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2019, 04:45:59 PM »
State law, and the lease, determines whether an AC is required to exist and whether it remains working.

https://www.brickunderground.com/rent/nyc-landlord-requirements-and-what-is-not-provided

So, yes, while there's supposed to be heat and water without the lease specifically mentioning it, AC is not one of the "implied" things a rental in NYC gets.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2019, 04:50:16 PM by bacchi »

the_gastropod

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2019, 04:56:54 PM »
Yea, I'll have to check out my lease. I'm not sure if the AC falls under the "continuous amenities" thing or not. There's absolutely no question of him replacing itóa replacement has already been ordered. My concern is more a matter of the timeliness of its replacement.

use2betrix

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2019, 07:38:28 PM »
During those 2 weeks that you didnít hear back. Were you texting/emailing/calling every single day? Did you go see him, the super, management, etc. in person? If you didnít act like it was very urgent, he may not have treated it as such.

Of course, itís not acceptable by any means, but I hope you were making him aware how much of an inconvenience this was. I moved into an apartment last fall and when we got moved in, the central AC didnít work. We called, stopped up to the office, etc. I am 100% sure had we of gone two days with no AC (I live in the south central US), I would have personally up in the front office twice a day until it was fixed.

zygote

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2019, 12:17:59 PM »
I agree with @use2betrix. In my experience, you have to bug supers/landlords about repairs. They're busy, often in charge of multiple properties, and aren't living every day with the problem. Our fridge died Tuesday of last week, and even with daily calls asking for updates it wasn't fixed until today, 6 days later. We had to throw out all the food in the freezer, most of the food in the fridge, and pay to eat out multiple times. Even though the delay cost us money and aggravation, we still aren't going to ask for a rent abatement. At least in my rental market, that's a pretty adversarial move reserved for bigger habitability offenses. We'd get laughed at and/or told to take it to court. Not worth it.

A month without AC in the middle of summer is pretty bad. Depending on how amenable you think your landlord is, it might be worth asking for an amount somewhere around the cost of the AC off of next month's rent. Especially if you were following up with your landlord often.

Either way, chalk this up as a lesson learned about following up. Of course, you don't want to be That Tenant and make everything a huge problem, but it's appropriate to be insistent when there is a major issue.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Dealing with a slow-ish landlord
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2019, 01:24:43 PM »
What state are you in, OP?  Here in Ohio we have a procedure that allows you to deposit your rent with the clerk of courts until your landlord fixes the problem.  I believe most states have a similar procedure.

I would research that procedure (or call your county's clerk of courts and ask how to deposit rent).  If this procedure applies in your jurisdiction, I would write your landlord a letter and let him know that you will be depositing August's rent with the clerk of courts (or whatever your state's statute says) until the A/C is fixed.