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Your Questions About Forest Hills Queens Rentals

December 22, 2012

Helen asks…

Maintenance when living in a rental coop building in Queens?

I just moved into a building in Forest Hills, it’s a coop building but I’m renting. In the last month there’s been several maintenance problems – door lock broken, window cracked and now the bathroom ceiling has a gaping hole in it. Noone seems to do anything about it – teh super basically ignores me and the broker firm won’t even give me the owner’s contact info!
I’ve never rented a coop building before so I’m not sure who is responsible for dealing with this maintenance! Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get repairs made? I mean, the owner should be the one to do it right?

Thanks.

Administrator answers:

Welcome to renting in New York City! Sucks, don’t it?

The problem is that the landlords all know that the Housing Court system in New York City is SUCH a total mess that it can take literally years until a case is heard, let alone settled, so they are in NO hurry to do anything, ever!

In any case, whoever you make out your rent check to is the responsible party, and, don’t take no for an answer! Call them fifty times a day if necessary, and write to them too… A LOT. It’s no fun at all, but you’ll have to become such a gigantic pain in their @ss that the path of least resistance for them is to do the repairs just to get you to shut the hell up!

If that doesn’t get them to move, if all else fails, one option is to have the repairs done at your own expense and then deduct that expense from your rent, but you should first document the problems and damage with good clear photos, and then you MUST notify them in writing via Certified Mail that you’re going to do that before you do it, and then you MUST submit copies of before-and-after photos, along with copies of ALL the receipts for the work done, along with your reduced rent check to prove that it’s a legitimate claim if you do so!

Gee, now all of a sudden they’re trying to contact YOU! Hmm, whaddaya know?

Oh, and if you REALLY want to find out who the owner is, that info is available on the internet, but you’ll have to dig around to find it. In other words, when the current owner bought that property, that purchase was recorded somewhere in the NYC Real Estate Archives and, if you can find it, their names and addresses and contact info will be right there, too!

Good luck, and the link below is to the Housing Court website, where all too many of these cases wind up, and the 2nd link is to a pdf file of a Tenant’s Guide To Housing Court…

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