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Old 12-20-2011, 09:35 AM
 
1 posts, read 11,607 times
Reputation: 10

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My son got locked in his apt. - his front door lock malfunctioned. After several calls to the super and landlord, where he left messages, (this was after hours) he called a locksmith to get him out. So far it's cost him $250. Is the landlord responsible? What are the tenant's rights. Thanks.

Last edited by Jnpnyc; 12-20-2011 at 09:37 AM.. Reason: Spell
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:55 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,896 posts, read 8,958,237 times
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I've had that happen to me.

Calling the locksmith really isn't necessary. Just a good screw driver.

Take the lock apart and/or unscew it from the door and out you go!

Rights? Right or wrong, unless the LL is predisposed to pick up the tab for a panicky kid, the only way to recover the cost w/b to take the LL To Smalls Claims court, but then there is no guarantee your son would prevail.

You could serve the LL with papers, then offer to settle for HALF. The LL might find that attractive.

Or, your son could deduct the cost from his rent, providing the LL with a copy of the bill. The risk is that, if the LL refuses to accept the bill, then your son will be open to a non-payment action, which he'll have to defend. Losing my result in eviction, though is more likely the judge will force a settlement.

These things happen, next time son s/b a bit more patient....
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:23 AM
 
365 posts, read 449,986 times
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I know this is off topic, but.......what kind of lock did he have?!
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:55 PM
 
1,319 posts, read 3,836,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jnpnyc View Post
My son got locked in his apt. - his front door lock malfunctioned. After several calls to the super and landlord, where he left messages, (this was after hours) he called a locksmith to get him out. So far it's cost him $250. Is the landlord responsible? What are the tenant's rights. Thanks.
If it really was broken door lock then I assume it would be landlord's responsibility. However if LL isn't willing to pay then process itself to force him to pay probably isn't worth the trouble for many folks as it'll need small claims.

That said, usually small claim suit can be used as threat because on the flip side...landlord probably don't want to be bothered by small claim suit that'll probably cost him more money to hire a lawyer or his own time to show up to defend himself.

Personally, I'd try to push to have Landlord pay for whole thing given that locksmith (neutral third party) can verify and confirm to LL that it indeed was broken lock not caused by your son. If LL then won't pay then try the 50/50 thing and go from there.

Good luck.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,896 posts, read 8,958,237 times
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This crappy kind. The most common apartment lock.
I reccommend changing it out asap!
Attached Thumbnails
Broken door lock-2011-12-20_14-48-13_326.jpg  
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:27 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,896 posts, read 8,958,237 times
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Just to be clear, the LL is responsible to replace the lock, therefore the cost, but he may balk at having to pay for the locksmith service. The kid may have to eat that, as it is questionable as to whether the locksmith was necessary.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Harlem, NY
5,436 posts, read 4,865,875 times
Reputation: 2414
would've got a medeco lock to replace it with. a jimmyproof nightlatch one
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:22 AM
 
1,494 posts, read 2,437,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellUpInHarlem View Post
would've got a medeco lock to replace it with. a jimmyproof nightlatch one

I swear by medeco. It saved a relative from a brutal break in attempt that mangled the door frame, and the steel guard plates protecting the 2 medeco locks on my door is a great not-so-subtle way of telling burglars to f-off.
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