It is possible that only a NYC apartment dweller emerging from a long, cold winter can fully grasp the depth of the tragedy depicted by these before-and-after photos posted on Brownstoner.com's forum yesterday. A renter's roof deck retreat (left) has been ripped out and returned to its natural tar-beach state by the landlord, who isn't going to replace it. It seems there was water damage to the apartment below. The deck--built, perhaps illegally, by the landlord--was a major reason for renting the apartment in the first place, and the tenant wants it back.
But does the landlord have to?
Brownstoners say the answer is a resounding "no" if use of a deck isn't in the lease. If the apartment were advertised with a deck, a tenant could go after some satisfaction (rent reduction, for example), suggests one commenter, but it would be costly and winning, unlikely. Moral of the story: Make sure the outdoor space is included with the lease.
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