If our apartment is uninhabitable, are we entitled to our security deposit back and/or a refund for previous rent?

Our building has no heat and our kitchen has been demolished and unusable for 1 1/2 weeks Additionally, we’ve been battling a serious roach infestation since the beginning of our lease (2 months ago). There are many other building repairs that need to be done. We asked the landlord if we could break our lease early due to the apartment being uninhabitable.

Asked on October 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are living in an apartment unit that is uninhabitable, you should contact your local health department for an inspection of it. If the unit is in bad shape, the health department will issue a citiation to the landlord requiring it to be remediated. Potentially the unit may also be shut down for human occupation.

Depending upon how bad the conditions are, you may be able to receive a rebate for previous paid rent to the landord. If the lease ends, you should be entitled to the return of your security deposit. I recommend that you immediately consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation.

Good luck.


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