General Question

illusionslies's avatar

Can I sue my landlord?

Asked by illusionslies (586points) November 20th, 2013

Even though I’ve talked to the landlord about heat problems millions of times, it isn’t fixed. There’s heat very rarely, and not most days. I have to wear gloves and layers of clothing inside my house. I’ve been sick for weeks now.

Heat was included initially. Must also say, I pay 4k monthly for this crap, dirty apartment. I am beyond pissed off.

I can’t do anything when it’s this cold. I just want to lay down under a blanket and try to sleep. My life is much harder since I can’t get work done.

Can I sue the landlord and win? I just want him to learn his lesson of torturing me with this unfairness.

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12 Answers

flo's avatar

Have you sent him a registered letter notifying him of the problem. Verbal complaint complaint isn’t enough sometimes. But you need to go according to your city’s rental laws.

There was a very similar question a few days ago. Look at @Judi’s answer.

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chyna's avatar

Four thousand would be a great house payment a month.
You can sue anyone you want, you just have to have records and proof to back up your claims in order to win.

YARNLADY's avatar

Look up Tenant’s rights for your area online

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Let me guess…you live in Manhattan?

Do you pay your own electric bill, or are utilities included in your rent? If the latter, why haven’t you stocked your apartment with space heaters and run them 24 hours per day? Space heaters work well, but they’re energy-inefficient. You’d stay warm and toasty, and your evil landlord would receive the most shocking electricity bills he’s ever seen.

illusionslies's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul Electric is NOT included but heat was supposed to be!

illusionslies's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul Maybe I can leave the water running – it’s included :P

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@illusionslies Any of us can understand the visceral joy of vengeance.

Wow, your landlord really is evil. The heat’s included in your rent, but you pay your own electricity. This guy wants you to use space heaters and cover the bill, while he pockets the difference.

Have you considered kerosene heaters? You could light them when you come home, in the evening, and stay warm until you leave the next morning. Kerosene’s much less costly than electricity, and it poses a much greater risk for burning down the building. Score!

chyna's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul The problem with burning down the building is that people can get burned up.

jca's avatar

If you live in NYC (which is one of the few places where you might have a 4k rent, although you could get an apartment for half that), they have a Landlord/Tenant Relations Board.

If you sue the landlord, it will take at least a year for a lawsuit to make it’s way through the courts, that is, if you can get a lawyer to take the case. You may also have to pay a lawyer out of pocket. This is not going to help your immediate problem, which is that you need heat. If you are in NYC, call 311 (and we can thank Bloomie for that hotline).

Smitha's avatar

Since it has been mentioned in the lease agreement, the landlord is responsible for the repairs and he cannot deny his obligation to fix. You can sent him a 7 day letter (both certified and regular) stating that you will withhold rent unless the repairs are made. If the landlord does not correct the problem within the above mentioned time, then you can resort to self-help remedies, including a rent escrow action, available to you. I would suggest talking to a lawyer and then go from there.

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