If I’ve been without power for 8 days now waiting formy landlord to correct things, what can I do?

Renting an apartment and the Power company cut the power to the house because the wires to the meter were burned.

Asked on August 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

Mark Siegel / Law Office of Mark A. Siegel

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Electricity is considered an essential service and the failure of a landlord to restore electric service to leased premises may be classified as a violation by the local building dept. You may want to contact the local building inspector, & ask how you go about filing a formal complaint & scheduling an inspection. If the inspector issues a violation against the landlord, the landlord may be subject to fines & additional legal action, if the violation is not corrected as provided by law. 

You should also contact the local town, justice or city court & obtain information about starting a tenant proceeding to request an "Order to Correct" from the court.

The landlord's failure to provide electric service may constitute a breach of the warranty of habilitability, which under NY law may entitle a tenant to seek an abatement (reduction) of rent (amount determined by the court). So if you owe rent & the landlord starts a nonpayment case against you, you may raise the landlord's failure to provide electric service as a counterclaim, based upon a breach of the warranty of habilitability. Good luck.


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