Repairs Didn't Make Apartment Unusable
LVT Number: 11419
Tenant sued landlord, claiming that while making repairs in his kitchen and bathroom, landlord had made the apartment uninhabitable for a lengthy period. Tenant claimed that he was ``constructively evicted'' and that landlord did this to retaliate for a rent reduction ordered by the DHCR. Landlord claimed that tenant requested repair to bathroom tiles and this led to the discovery of extensive pipe rust throughout the apartment, so further repairs were required. Landlord claimed that tenant remained in control of the apartment while repairs were made and that tenant changed the locks and would only permit work in the apartment on weekends. Landlord asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial. The court ruled against landlord. Landlord appealed and won. Tenant admitted that he never gave up possession of the apartment and admitted that the repairs were necessary. There was no proof that landlord purposely delayed the repairs.
Wessel v. Sichel: NYLJ, p. 25, col. 5 (4/14/97) (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Murphy, PJ, Milonas, Nardelli, Andrias, JJ)