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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36248
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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We rent a house and some major repairs need to be done to

Customer Question

We rent a house and some major repairs need to be done to the one and only bathroom. Landlord said work will take about 10 days. Since we wont be able to use the bathroom or the shower, my family and I have decided to stay in a hotel. Is the landlord responsible for the cost of a hotel until the repairs are done? Does the rental agreement have to specifically state that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Is the landlord responsible for the cost of a hotel until the repairs are done? Does the rental agreement have to specifically state that?

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Yes, if there are not operable bathroom facilities in the property, that would make it legally uninhabitable. Since the landlord has a legal duty to provide a habitable dwelling under your lease contract, they would be responsible for providing alternate accomodations to you at their cost during any period where the property is uninhabitable.

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And no, the lease doesn't have to specifically state this as it is a matter of landlord/tenant law and is implied by the lease contract.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does tenant have the right to pick the place? Or does the landlord do that? Don't need to stay at a 5 star resort but don't want to be in a dump either. What is reasonable?Thank you,
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

The tenant can pick the place, but it has to be comparable accommodations... So reasonable is a subjective determination, but if you check out some local motel/hotels and the price range is from $70-150 a night, for example, then I would opine that a $100 a night dwelling would be deemed reasonable.

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I would suggest that you communicate with the landlord what your options are for lodging and tell them that you will let them determine if they have a preference where you stay. That way it shows that you are acting in good faith in seeking alternate lodging.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I called him first to try to work it out. Place that is close to the home is $150 per night. I was willing to cover anything over $100.00 per night. If he insist on not covering hotel, do I have the right to withhold rent for next month or pay a reduced amount to cover the hotel?Thanks very much,
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

I think that is a reasonable solution to the problem as the landlord has the burden of providing a habitable dwelling under the lease. As for deducting from the rent, NY has a repair and deduct law that allows a tenant to cure a serious problem and then deduct it from the rent if the landlord won't cure the problem (i.e. pay for the hotel). N.Y. Real Prop. Law § 235-b (only for emergency repairs ); Jangla Realty Co. v. Gravagna 447 N.Y.S.2d 338 (Civ. Ct., Queens County, 1981.

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I would opine that this would meet the "emergency repairs" requirement and if the landlord objected and tried to retaliate by attempting to evict for you applying the cost of the hotel to the rent, then this is illegal and would give you grounds to defeat any eviction action and also countersue him for the illegal retaliation. N.Y. Real. Prop. Law § 223-b.

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thanks

Barrister

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