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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 4779
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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NY Queens Property Management; Is a tenant responsible for

Customer Question

NY Queens Property Management; Is a tenant responsible for the cost of a locksmith that has been hired by the landlord. Can the tenant stick the landlord with the bills incurred and the tenants or guest of the leased tenants loss of work resulting from the tenant or their guest having to miss work while waiting for the Landlord to call a Locksmith? In a particular case, the Landlord was not home and had misplaced the spare set of keys for the particular apartment .......WOuld it be the landlords financial responsibility of all financial losses incured of the tenant? THe landlord quickly within the hour, called a locksmith and the locksmith arrived within the hour. The bill was only to open the door. No lock was replaced. The locksmith company said the cost was $15 for the house call and $45 to open the door. WHen the locksmith got there, the bill was actually $150 to only open the door.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 month ago.

Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.

Have you looked at your lease to see if it addresses this sort of situation? If it does, clearly, that would control.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There is no lease
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If there is no lease, and the landlord said they would foot the bill but then changes their mind, can the landlord sugggest half the cost of the locksmith fee?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The landlord was just released from the hospital btw and had misplaced the spare set of keys....THe landlord had previously told the tenant they can keep a spare set inside the garage and the tenant never did this. The landlord cannot be home full time and available to have the spare key soley for that time when a tenant locks themselves out,. Hoping you can find a landlord tenant law that states this and provide a link here...
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 month ago.

Since there is no lease, there is no obligation on the landlord's part to call a locksmith to unlock the door. In that case, unless you agreed up front to pay for the locksmith, you have no obligation to pay. The court would view it as a gift, so long as you did not tell him that you would pay or there wasn't a lease that obligated you to pay.

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 month ago.

Do you have any questions? If so, feel free to ask. If not, please remember to "rate" my answer before you go.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
THe court would view it as a gift? Where does this fit into this issue?
Actually it was the landlords wife, that suggested her husband (the landlord pays the tenants loss of work incurred by the landlord NOT having the spare key to give the tenant).... She suggested the landlord is a slumlord to suggest it is the tenents responsibility to deal with their lost key issue. Do you have a link to an official document that states it is the tenants obligation for costs incurred in this issue of being locked out or lost keys etc.
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 month ago.

If you do something for someone without a contract or an agreement for the other party to pay, courts view that act as a "gift" in the sense that you have no obligation to repay them. In order to create an obligation to pay, there has to be an agreement in place before the act is done or service is provided. Here, you didn't agree before he called the locksmith (as I understand it), and there is no obligation in the lease since there isn't one, so you don't have to pay.

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 month ago.

If you do something for someone without a contract or an agreement for the other party to pay, courts view that act as a "gift" in the sense that you have no obligation to repay them. In order to create an obligation to pay, there has to be an agreement in place before the act is done or service is provided. Here, you didn't agree before he called the locksmith (as I understand it), and there is no obligation in the lease since there isn't one, so you don't have to pay.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I am one of the landlords and my sibling is the other landlord whom recently got out of the hospital. My siblings spouse dictated that the tenants loss of work incurred while having to take the time to drive to her roommates job to get the key should be the landlords responsibility. I protested and stated it is NOT the landlords financial obligation. My siblings spouse insisted we are slumlords to NOT have a spare key available or to foot the bill for the locksmith.
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 month ago.

OK. The landlord would not be responsible for the tenants lost work time, etc., but probably would be for the locksmith fee since the tenant didn't ask the landlord to call the locksmith or agree to pay for it.

Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 month ago.

Does that answer your question? If so, please remember to "Rate" my answer before you go. Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would the tenant be responsible to get a lock box as a future remedy for this or the landlord?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is it a law in Queens NY that a landlord must have a lock box or provide a lock box for the tenant to keep a spare key or a place for a tenant to obtain a spare key incase the landlord is not reachable?

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