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Fixing water damage to roof/collapsed ceiling - Landlord Forum thread 234046

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Fixing water damage to roof/collapsed ceiling by Daniel Bienert (NY) on September 8, 2011 @08:59

We are living in a rent-stabilized apartment in a multiple dwelling unit in Brooklyn Heights, occupying the top floor.

For several years, there have been several leaks in the ceiling, which we have documented and which have been occasionally patched up by the owner, only to reoccur in the same spots.

Upon returning from a trip abroad on Sept 1, 20011, we found part of the ceiling collapsed on our apartment floor in one of the bedrooms (about 2 square yards), with the the roof structure exposed and moldy. Thankfully, no significant damage was done to our property other than the carpet. The landlord has come to look at the damage on Sept 6 but has not taken any significant action since then. The collapse happened in the very spot were a recurring leak has been observed in the past but the owner is blaming Irene for the collapse. Due to the heavy rain of the last days, we have been forced to remove furniture from the room, lay out plastic sheets and set up buckets to catch the water that drips, at times heavily, through the ceiling and down the wall (it is a slanted ceiling). We have since then noticed the appearance of vermin (waterbugs) in the room. In addition, the ceiling in the second bedroom, already stained from an old leak as well, is beginning to show signs of wetness.

At our request for a rent reduction until repairs are done, the owner has claimed that the apartment was in a "perfectly habitable condition." He has promised to get the roof fixed but not given us a time line.
Can anyone advise us regarding our rights as tenants in this regard and how to enforce them?
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Re: Fixing water damage to roof/collapsed ceiling by Jake on September 8, 2011 @09:36 [ Reply ]
Tell your landlord that you will not longer be paying rent until the roof leak is repaired. You will have to send him a certified letter with a request to make the repair and you need to put into your wording that the matter is a habitability issue that needs immediate attention. This will pick up the pace.
Re: Fixing water damage to roof/collapsed ceiling by Shaun (FL) on September 9, 2011 @11:23 [ Reply ]
All that Jake stated and put the rent $$$ in an trust/escrow account. Notify the LL of the account. This will work in your favor should ya'll end up in court.

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