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NYC tenants sue landlord due to building's need for repairs

Landlords have legal obligations to maintain safe and habitable premises for their tenants. Unfortunately, however, not all New York City landlords comply with this obligation, and sometimes landlord-tenant disputes may develop. One New York City landlord has recently been sued by 38 of his tenants due to the conditions in one 100-unit six-story building.

The building, identified as 750 Grand Concourse and located only a few blocks from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, is in a state of disrepair. According to the tenants, the landlord has not ensured that the building has received proper maintenance. Recently, the building's laundry room fell onto a gas pipe. Following this collapse, the NYC Department of Buildings turned off the property's gas service, leaving many residents without gas to use their stoves.

The tenants have filed a lawsuit against their landlord, who has owned the building for 20 years and owns almost 40 other buildings in the Bronx, due to the tremendous number of essential repairs that need to be completed. In addition to the lack of gas for cooking, the building's other hazards include peeling lead paint, as well as problems with tenants' plumbing systems. The landlord has agreed to make required repairs, which number more than 500, and has begun doing so since his first court appearance. An additional court appearance is scheduled for later this month.

Proper compliance with landlord obligations helps protect tenants, and tenants have legal rights when landlords ignore their repair obligations. If you are renting a property that is not in habitable condition, you may wish to seek the guidance of an attorney to discuss your legal options.

Source: Bronx Times, "Grand Concourse tenants sue 'NYC's Worst Landlord'," Robert Wirsing, April 23, 2016

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