What to do if our rental is not up to code?

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What to do if our rental is not up to code?

My landlord turned the power off to the hall and outside porch light. This caused me to trip and fall and seriously hurt myself. I have had severe pain and swelling. I also bruised the bone in my right leg and scraped my face. I was out of work for a week. Also, the electric is not up to code; I have extension cords running from different outlets because we blow circuits. We call him to come turn them back on but he doesn’t. We do not have access to the breaker box that’s in the basement. e have to have him come which he does not. Now he slapped us with an eviction notice. What can we do?

Asked on July 24, 2011 New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, every tenancy must be habitable; a landlord must provide habitable living conditions and no electricity or dangerous electrical systems could negate habitability. New York is one of the many states with slumlord laws. You need to file a complaint immediately and consider suing your landlord because a) his negligence and failed duty to you caused your injuries and b) he cannot retaliate and evict you. DO not wait when you sue and file the complaint with the local HUD office or attorney general. It could compromise your ability to remain in the home and of course, evictions do impact your ability to rent from other landlords. Consider your options and if you wish to move now. If you do and depending on your state's law, your landlord may be required to pay for your move.


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