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Old 05-13-2015, 07:59 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,538 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello, I own a condo in Manhattan that I rent out. Recently the wash dryer vent was cleaned by a company employed by the building management agency. The tenant subsequently reported gas type smells after the cleaning and it turned out the washer dryer vent pipe had been crushed which was causing the smell (the tenant called Con-ed originally). The management agency are contacting the vent cleaning company to ask them if they moved the washer dryer while cleaning the vent but if they say they didn't and I am left to foot the bill for the repair of the vent pipe do I have any legal recourse that I can take. It would seem the only rational explanation would be that the vent cleaning company moved the washer dryer and damaged the vent when attempting to return the washer dryer to it's original position, the tenant is an elderly lady who is quite small in stature and completely unable to move the washer dryer. But knowing the building management agency and condo board rationality doesn't get a look in when it comes to attributing costs to the association - if the vent cleaning company say they didn't move the washer dryer I am sure they will side with them. If it turns out I do have to pay for the repair to the vent pipe can I take someone to small claims court and who would I be suing, the management agency, the vent cleaning company or the condo board?
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:43 AM
 
1,935 posts, read 2,128,933 times
Reputation: 2697
Its little issues like this that makes me not want to be a landlord.
I just bought a house in the burbs and momentarily thought about renting out my condo in Dumbo.
Looks good on paper to be a landlord, and I think in the long run it will be profitable.
But little things like this has made me decide to the sell the condo, take the money and run.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
20,143 posts, read 26,425,454 times
Reputation: 9029
Bless,

Just eat the cost and make a fuss at the next owner's meeting...perhaps you can shame the board into picking up your cost.
Courts don't like the he said-she said kind of arguments with no actual evidence.


IF a company hired by the condo broke the vent, the condo is responsible to you and the hired company is responsible to the homeowner's association.

The cost is so small though, that getting involved in court is a silly exercise. Anyone handy can replace the vent for $20 worth of material.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:59 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,538 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you for the responses - most appreciated! I just called the management company to see what's happening and was amazed to find out they hadn't actually done anything at all yet regarding the issue, well perhaps I shouldn't of been so amazed. They were informed of a potential gas leak Sunday and hadn't responded once, given that it's New York city and buildings seem to be blowing up left , right and center these days you'd think they'd pull the finger out a little - wouldn't you? Anyway that combined with a condo president who is most certainly a few cards short of a deck I've resigned myself to fixing it myself and will take a trip to Home Depot this evening.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
20,143 posts, read 26,425,454 times
Reputation: 9029
Do it well though,
You don't want a carbon monoxide leak into your apartment...or dryer lint all over everything.

Although, in truth, natural gas burns very clean and CO buildup is VERY rarely a problem. That's why we can have unvented gas stoves and ovens.

For the smell of any gas, call CON ED and 911...and NOT the landlord. We all found out that lesson in the explosions on Seventh Street and Second Avenue.
(And the one next to piano store in Harlem.)



Quote:
I've resigned myself to fixing it myself and will take a trip to Home Depot
this evening.
I have found that if I do it myself, it gets done RIGHT.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:19 PM
 
4,542 posts, read 4,464,891 times
Reputation: 3481
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessmysaintedaunt View Post
Hello, I own a condo in Manhattan that I rent out. Recently the wash dryer vent was cleaned by a company employed by the building management agency. The tenant subsequently reported gas type smells after the cleaning and it turned out the washer dryer vent pipe had been crushed which was causing the smell (the tenant called Con-ed originally). The management agency are contacting the vent cleaning company to ask them if they moved the washer dryer while cleaning the vent but if they say they didn't and I am left to foot the bill for the repair of the vent pipe do I have any legal recourse that I can take. It would seem the only rational explanation would be that the vent cleaning company moved the washer dryer and damaged the vent when attempting to return the washer dryer to it's original position, the tenant is an elderly lady who is quite small in stature and completely unable to move the washer dryer. But knowing the building management agency and condo board rationality doesn't get a look in when it comes to attributing costs to the association - if the vent cleaning company say they didn't move the washer dryer I am sure they will side with them. If it turns out I do have to pay for the repair to the vent pipe can I take someone to small claims court and who would I be suing, the management agency, the vent cleaning company or the condo board?
My condo the association would only pay to fix the parts of the condo that when you turn it upside down will not fall on the floor. We also dont fix any improvements to a condo such as a kitchen or bathroom unless it was original kitchen or bathroom put in by sponsor and only if it was our fault.

In this case as a board member I have a few questions.

Does the condo owner have his own insurance to claim this on.

Who put in the washer/dryer?

Did owner contact washer/dryer company since they are insured and liable fro repair.

How much does it cost to repair a vent?

Honestly the board is non-profit volunteers and you are a landlord running a for profit business. This is a he/said she said thing. How can board who is in a Fiduciary role give away for something it is clearly not liable for. Either owner damaged it or insured worker damaged it. Owner should pay, Owners insurance should pay or contractor should pay. Giving away other owners money out of treasury I need more hard proof.

If you sue board they will hire a lawyer to defend them selves. if they win they will charge you back for legal fees, if you dont pay they will put a lien on your unit and foreclose if necessary.
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