You are right, there is no law that tells us what is a "reasonable amount of time" because everything is relative.
Let me give you an example,
Example: Let us assume that the temperature outside is 100 degrees, but the tenant's air conditioning is working properly. Let us also assume that someone broke the tenant's window so that all the hot air is coming into the apartment. If Management could not repair the window for 5 days, this would be an unreasonable amount of time to have hot air blowing into the tenant's apartment.
However, if the temperature outside was 72 degrees and Management could not repair the window for 5 days, this would not be an unreasonable amount of time. because the weather is pleasant outside.
This is how a Court decides cases, everything is relative, depending on the rest of the circumstances.
If the building has 30 apartments and only 3 dryers - I consider this unreasonable, even if they are all working properly. With only 3 washers (if they were working), it would still mean that only 3 out of the 30 families could do their laundry at one time.
In my first Answer, I told you that the law gives the tenant a right to repair, if the landlord has not done so and deduct the cost of the repairs from the following month's rent. If an appliance repairman were called in to repair the washers and the dryers and the repairs for each washer and each dryer were $100 for a total of $600 in repairs, ( 3 washers and 3 dryers) each tenant could contribute $20 to the repairs and then deduct it from the rent. Management could not do anything to any tenant for doing this because they have a legal right to do so.
You could have done this with your air conditioning. If you saw that management did not have it repaired in 24 or 36 hours, you could have brought in a repairman, paid him for the repairs and deducted it from your rent.
I am simply telling you all this so that if Management sues you for the $1,706 early termination fee, you will not be surprised if the Judge tells you this and I just want you to be prepared for any possible argument that Management will give the Judge.
However, whatever you do, even for repairs, you should always put your request to Management in writing, keeping a copy of each request for your records. You could tell Management in each notice and request for repairs that:
"This is an emergency situation" and if the repairs are not performed within 36 hours, I will exercise my legal right to have the repairs done, pay for them and deduct the cost of the repairs from my next month's rent."
If Management does not want to spend the money for the repairs and simply gives the tenants empty promises, one sure way of having all the necessary repairs done is if the tenants have them done and simply deduct the cost from their rent, giving management a copy of the receipt for the cost of the repairs as proof that they were done.
There is no way that Management could ever sue a tenant for making these repairs because the Judge would see that the repairs were necessary and the tenants did what they had to do to make each apartment livable.
I wish I could give you a simple black and white answer, but it is not possible in this case and I want to be sure that you understand what Management can do to you if they took you to Court for the $1,706.
BONUS is always appreciated
That is the only way I get paid
ANDREA, JD, LLM
MEMBER, NY & PA BAR
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