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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5748
Experience:  20 years professional experience
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I am renting a basement apartment in Brooklyn, NY. I have

Customer Question

I am renting a basement apartment in Brooklyn, NY. I have been there for 4 months. The building was recently renovated before I moved in. Two days ago the NY area experienced torrential rain fall. My basement apartment flooded. My stereo, computer, sofa, bed, and clothing are soaking wet. The day of the rain storm I was staying with my girlfriend. The other tenants on the first floor called me to inform me of flooding in the entire block. When I got home the next day, there was an half of inch of water over the entire floor. Silver fish and roaches were floating in the water. Looking at the water line, the flooding must have been a little deeper. I called the superintendent and he said he would call the owners. I don't have apartment insurance. This event was an act of God. I am now worried about black mold. What recourse do I have?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

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Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

You must give the LL notice of the problem and allow for the LL a reasonable time to do mold remediation. As a NJ tenant you are legally entitled to rental property that meets basic health and safety standards. If a LL still does not fix the problem, then you may have the right to withhold rent until repairs are made, or the right to repair it through your own contractor and deduct the cost from your rent.

Also check for what your lease states on these issues.

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Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I am living in NY, not NJ. The lease says they are not responsible for damage or theft, but this was an act of God. The lease mentions rent insurance to cover damage and theft, but would renter's insurance cover flash flooding? Am I responsible for any black mold?
Expert:  Maverick replied 3 months ago.

Neither you nor the LL is responsible for damage caused from "Acts of God". However, once such an act occurs then you would have a duty to notify the LL of black mold so that he can hire someone to fix that issue with in reasonable amount of time. If he fails then in NY you would have the same two remedies I discussed earlier.

Your rent insurance may cover this loss as it relates to your personal belongings. Not for the mold issue. Whether or not there is such coverage would depending on the terms written in your policy; but it should cover acts of God. You would not be responsible for the mold here.

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