Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: New York (Yonkers)

    I'm renting a one-bedroom apartment in a co-op from the apartment owner. She does not live there. I have a one-year lease with her.

    When I moved in (March 23) there were two functioning air conditioners. I'm on the sixth floor, the very top of the building.

    Through no fault of my own (and the apartment owner agrees), one of the air conditioners died. The owner says she is not planning on replacing it. She keeps telling me she's very sorry this happened to me.

    There's nothing in the lease that specifically mentions the air conditioners. There is this:
    Lessee shall, at Lessee’s sole expense, keep and maintain the demised premises and appurtenances in good and sanitary condition and repair during the term of this lease and any renewal thereof. In particular, Lessee shall keep the fixtures in the house or on or about the demised premises in good order and repair; keep the furnace clean; keep the electric bells in order; keep the walks free from dirt and debris; and, at his sole expense, shall make all required repairs to the plumbing, range, heating, apparatus, and electric and gas fixtures whenever damage thereto shall have resulted from Lessee’s misuse, waste, or neglect or that of Lessee’s employee, family, agent, or visitor. Major maintenance and repair of the demised premises, not due to Lessee’s misuse, waste, or neglect or that of his employee, family, agent, or visitor, shall be the responsibility of Lessor.

    I don't want to have to deal with the upcoming summer heat on the sixth floor with no air conditioner. What can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,893

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    In most states a landlord has no obligation to provide air conditioning, except as provided in the lease. I suggest you investigate with the local government to see if there's an ordinance that requires air conditioning, or that would apply to require the repair or replacement of the air conditioner.

    This is a window unit? Do you have any idea how much repair or replacement would cost?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    Except as I understand it, because the air conditioner was already there in the apartment in good working order, she is required to maintain and repair anything that was already in the apartment when I rented. Part of the reason I chose the sixth floor in the first place was because of the air conditioner. Not having one in the living room means I can't use most of the apartment.

    Looking over my lease, it does indeed mention the air conditioners.

    It is a window unit, and would be at most between $350-$400 for the space.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,893

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    You understand that because of what?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    Based on research I've been doing on the web, and quotes from the book "Every Tenant's Legal Guide" such as this:

    Suppose your rental agreement doesn't mention a garbage disposal, but there is one, and it was working when you moved in. Now it's broken, and despite repeated requests, your landlord hasn't fixed it. Do you have a legal leg to stand on in demanding that your landlord make this minor repair? Yes. Many courts will hold a landlord legally responsible for maintaining all significant aspects of your rental unit. If you rent a unit that already has certain features -- light fixtures that work, doors that open and close, faucets that don't leak -- many judges reason that the landlord has made an implied contract to keep them in workable order throughout your tenancy.

    And although I've been researching, I was hoping someone here might have a clear-cut answer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,893

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    I agree that you'll find general references like that one; the key is whether there's such a rule in New York. I'm prepared for the possibility that there is one, but I haven't found it in relation to items (a) not required by law or (b) not required by the lease.

    Beyond that, with or without specific authority, if you end up in court over this issue I'll agree that "Many courts will hold a landlord legally responsible", likely including courts in New York. But that doesn't help you convince your landlord to fix the A/C in a manner that keeps you out of court. As it stands, she seems comfortable that as she's not expressly required to provide A/C, she doesn't have to replace the unit.

    You may be able to get a solid answer or at least some state-specific authority from the local unit of government that certifies rental housing, or a local legal aid office (unless you're indigent I suggest that you make clear that you're trying to get an answer to a really simple query, not seeking representation).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    You may be able to get a solid answer or at least some state-specific authority from the local unit of government that certifies rental housing, or a local legal aid office (unless you're indigent I suggest that you make clear that you're trying to get an answer to a really simple query, not seeking representation).
    Thanks for the suggestions. Reasearching online has been hit or miss, as has trying to find someone who can give me a simple answer to my problem.

    I did call a local tenant aid office, but they never got back to me. I doubt they will. Maybe I can try them again and explain that I just want a simple question answered.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,893

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    I understand the frustration. The problem is that there doesn't appear to be anything official and in writing for New York (and thus nothing to show your landlord to convince her to do the repair) that says she's legally compelled to do this type of repair.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Air Conditioner Died, Owner Won't Replace

    I'm in NY, I'm a landlord, and I agree the law is ambiguous on this.

    My leases lists the appliances that comes with each apartment, ie. refigerator, range, range hood, dishwasher and so forth. Often, tenants vacate, and leave behind their AC's either because it's inconvenient to take out and move, the place they moved to has larger rooms, or in many cases, the unit is not in good operating order.

    I normally have a "sit down", let's read through the lease session with each of my new tenants, and I would say to them in particular: "you'll notice that there's two AC's in the apartment, and it is NOT LISTED in the lease ANYWHERE". If that bothers you, I'll have it removed. BUT if you want them to stay, it is YOURS to maintain.

    One time I did have a tenant bugging me about an AC, first, she needs it taken out of the window each winter because of drafts, and put back in each summer. I have a bad back. When she complained about it not working properly later on, I got someone and had it removed. I told her to get a new unit herself, one that would work properly, and one where she can remove herself from the window come winter.

    Lately, to avoid confusion, I've been removing AC's where refurbishing the units, even if they appear to work well. I found for tenants financially better off, it doesn't bother them the least, and they prefer new units. It's usually tenants that's a bit financially challeged that's looking for units that already comes with them, and I found it was a good way for me to screen tenants as well.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Brother Died Intestate, Father Did Not Claim Estate and Has Now Died
    By islandgirl23 in forum Estate Administration and Probate
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-18-2011, 05:48 AM
  2. Repair and Maintenance: Maintenance Won't Fix Air Conditioner
    By abird218 in forum Living in the Rental Unit
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-21-2011, 05:41 PM
  3. Promissory Notes Due Us Soon and the Owner Died
    By grdnglo1 in forum Estate Administration and Probate
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-17-2009, 09:55 AM
  4. Repair and Maintenance: Landlord Won't Fix Air Conditioner
    By idonotlikepigs in forum Living in the Rental Unit
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-31-2008, 04:40 PM
  5. Repair and Maintenance: Who Should Pay For Air Conditioner Repair
    By kristin_lark in forum Living in the Rental Unit
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-20-2007, 11:56 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Landlord-Tenant Forms
Expert forms for all states. Residential & commercial. Immediate download.




Untitled Document