There many people renting in New York. When people start their rental at a particular apartment or home, they usually sign a lease. This is the official contract between the tenant and landlord and sets out the terms of the lease and the responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord. However, there is one responsibility that all landlords have regardless of whether it is specifically stated in the lease or not.
It is also a responsibility the landlord has even if the lease specifically states that the landlord does not have it. This is responsibility is that the landlord must ensure that the apartment is habitable. This means that the landlord must keep the apartment in good condition for the tenant. Therefore, when things break, the landlord must fix the problem to ensure the apartment is habitable.
If the landlord fails to make the necessary repairs, the tenant does have a couple of options to attempt to rectify the situation. One is to make the repairs themselves and then deduct the cost of the repair from their rent payment. If the problem is significant though and makes it impossible to live in the rental, the tenant could withhold the entire amount of the rent until the repairs are complete.
In either situation, it is important that the tenant makes the landlord aware of the problem before attempting to fix it or to withhold rent. The landlord needs to be given the opportunity to fix the problem. Also, it is important to keep the invoices and receipts and document what the tenant did to fix the problem. Ultimately the landlord and tenant could end up in landlord-tenant dispute in court to resolve the issue.
There is a warrant of habitability implied in every lease in New York. This means that landlords have a duty to keep the rental property in good repairs and fix problems that make a rental difficult to live in. These problems can lead to landlord-tenant disputes though and consulting with an experienced attorney could be beneficial for both sides.