EP01 S02: NYC Tenant FAQs: Can I Sue My Landlord For Not Making Repairs?
Because the landlord was notified about the leak in the ceiling but did not fix it correctly, they would be legally responsible for any damages or injuries that were caused by the leak.
Learn what to do if this situation happens to you and how an attorney can help.
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Welcome to Trial Stories an informative discussion of civil justice with a focus on the human story. I’m your host. Arkady Frekhtman a New York City trial lawyer passionate about helping serious injury victims and their families.
One question that tenants in apartment buildings throughout New York city often ask is, “Can I sue my landlord for not making a repair?” Say for example, I have a crack in my ceiling and I tell the landlord about it. And the landlord says, “Oh yeah, sure. I’ll take care of it. I’ll send somebody to repair that right away.” But he doesn’t and say a few days go by and then all of a sudden the crack starts getting bigger. It starts leaking. And then it can cause a puddle that somebody slips on, or sometimes the entire ceiling can come down and hit someone causing an injury.
So in that situation, the landlord would be responsible legally because the tenant has put them on what’s known as notice. The tenant has notified or informed the landlord about the condition of the ceiling having that crack. And the landlord has said they would take care of it, therefore understanding the complaint and acknowledging the complaint and saying that they will respond to the complaint.
But the only difference is the landlord talked the talk, but he didn’t walk the walk. He didn’t do it. He didn’t do it properly. We have a lot of cases with ceiling collapses where the landlord acknowledges the complaint and comes in, but instead of fixing the underlying problem, what the landlord does is he sends somebody to just patch it up, paint over it, do a little patchwork, but it doesn’t solve the problem.
And then the water just builds up. And then all of a sudden the concrete and the actual ceiling fibers all fall down, striking someone on the head, causing a serious injury that may result in surgery, which may result in a lot of medical care that really alters someone’s life. And then something that could have been repaired or remedied very quickly now it turns into a lifelong problem and it could turn into a million-dollar case, a million-dollar recovery for that injured client.
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