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Old 05-16-2017, 10:05 AM
 
3 posts, read 1,412 times
Reputation: 10

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I have lived in a rent stabilized apartment for the past 3 years, and since we've moved in, we've had a problem with the floors. The wooden floors are very old and extremely creaky. In the living room that we use as a bedroom, the floor, especially by the heating pole, is so weak that I can hear every word being said in the apartment under ours, along with babies constantly crying, and the extremely loud music they play on their surround sound system makes my floors shake. The neighbor is a hopeless case and negotiating with them and asking them to minimize the noise is useless, and they even complain that our *walking* is "too loud." I'm a professional student who only studies in the apartment and I can't deal with the noise anymore, but I can't afford rent anywhere else. What are my options in terms of asking for the landlord/management to redo our floors only? The apartment has plenty of issues and I deal with them because of the rent, but the floors are a major issue. They renovated an apartment on our floor recently and replaced everything and put in brand new wooden floors (which I assume if we had, it would help with the noise transmission issue) but they raised the rent for that apartment by $600/month for the new tenants. I want to renew our lease next month for the next year, but I don't know what is possible for me to ask of them. Can they redo just the floors without the other renovations and not raise our rent as much? Or would we have to move out for them to completely renovate everything and sign a new contract with the extra $600/month like the other apartment? It sounds like management is eager for old tenants to move out so they can renovate and charge much higher rent than the old rent-stabilized rent, so would they push us towards signing a new contract with the higher rent?

(An HPD inspector here for something else noticed the floors in the hallway and sent a violation for emergency repairs because the floor is so creaky and uneven, but hasn't seen the floors in the bedrooms. If I show him the floors in the living room converted to a bedroom, would he have a problem that we converted it to a bedroom?)

I'd appreciate any input!
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:27 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
2,456 posts, read 1,806,602 times
Reputation: 1334
Oh gosh, do I know exactly what you mean. I also live in a rent-stabalized apartment - and although very large and extremely cheap, I have asked for partial renovations of both the kitchen and the bathroom. (My reason is because the renovated apartments in my building have beautiful ceramic tiles in the bathrooms, and granite kitchen tops which make cleaning them a lot better).

To make a long story short, my landlord basically avoided my request - they just sent me a, "buy out" letter - basically offering me money to give up my lease in exchange for money. I would imagine - in my case at least, they want to make my one bedroom into a two bedroom apartment - like they've done the others on my line, while renovating both the kitchen and bathroom, so they can up the rent by a thousand or so.

Whatever - I'm looking for another place to live at the moment, and when I do, I'm takin' the buyout!
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Eric Forman's basement
1,688 posts, read 1,659,276 times
Reputation: 869
Assuming your landlord would agree to the repair/replacement, you would be on the hook for the added cost every month in perpetuity. There is a formula that HDC uses that divides up the total amount of the project, and that is what is added to your rent. Forever.

My landlord recently started doing certain improvements for long-term RS tenants on request. For instance, a renovated kitchen is a certain amount per month, a new bathroom is another amount. (I can't remember offhand what these are.) Putting the air conditioner through the wall is another option.

It sounds to me as if you might just consider putting down wall-to-wall carpeting if you have no allergies. New wood floors may not solve your noise problems anyway.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:19 PM
 
746 posts, read 268,614 times
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You'll just have to ask your landlord and see what they say. I moved into a rent-stabilized apartment last year and wanted a few things replaced. The landlord said he would do them but that the monthly rent would go up by 1/40th of the total cost (labor and materials). I agreed and he provided me with a receipt and an additional lease rider. My building is small. I believe if the building is larger, the formula is 1/60 of the total cost.

Yes, this rent increase is in perpetuity. The way to think about it is the landlord gets to recover his costs over 40 or 60 months and only after that can he start netting a profit on this improvement. Seems fair enough to me.

I read a lot about the rent-stabilization rules at the time. Here's one fact sheet with the info: http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac26.pdf
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:21 PM
 
2,301 posts, read 1,114,298 times
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That's why I go to the library all the time.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:47 PM
 
18,236 posts, read 11,645,412 times
Reputation: 11847
By statue a landlords of a RS apartment are only obligated to provide a safe and "clean" apartment with working appliances, heat and hot water (subject to terms of lease). Anything else not deemed structural damage and or a potential safety issue is cosmetic in nature and thus another ball game.


Only requirement regarding any sort of "decoration" of RS apartments is that the LL must paint every three years. Even then that requirement only kicks in if tenant makes the request. Many don't these days because the effort/hassle involved versus the often poor quality of the job doesn't make it seem worth bothering.


Anytime a RS tenant requests a LL address "cosmetic" issues in their apartment the LL can and most nearly always insist on the increase baked into the rent. NYC Rent Guidelines Board


http://streeteasy.com/talk/discussio...ntal-apartment


The same goes for replacing fixtures/appliances where the tenant wants new but the LL will only supply used/suspect quality. That is if your fridge breaks down and it was included in the apartment when you moved in; the LL must get you another working unit. However it does not follow said replacement must be brand new. Many LL's will simply take a used unit from storage or another apartment and swap em out. If you want new, absent a few good reasons, the cost will be applied to future rent as above.


Nearly all RS leases prohibit tenants from making any alterations to apartment that involve fixtures (anything that touches a wall or floor that is fixed to it), walls, floors, etc... Tenants who do so without written consent from LL are in violation of their lease and can (and have) been evicted.


Years ago (many now) it was not uncommon for RS tenants to do minor to major redecorating of their apartments. Some went far as entire new kitchens, bathrooms, etc... Most LL's didn't care and or turned a blind eye as these long term tenants were increasing their property value, and doing work for free that they didn't (or wouldn't) do. That all pretty much as ended with the hot real estate market since the 1990's.
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