Rent Coach

Rent Coach: Lighting a fire under the super to fix the stove; risky sublet business

By Mike Akerly  | September 22, 2011 - 12:34PM

Q. I intended to cook dinner at my apartment over the weekend but when I went to use the gas range the burners were not lit.  I contacted ConEd and they confirmed everything is fine on their end.  My super suggested that I light the range with a match, which worked. However, I don’t want to have to light the range every time.  Who is responsible for fixing it – ConEd or my landlord?

A. If ConEd has provided your apartment with a gas supply, they have performed their service.  It sounds to me like there is a problem with your range, which is your landlord’s responsibility to maintain. 

Contact your landlord or managing agent directly and let them know that the appliance requires attention as it is not in working order. 

Q. I want to rent out my condo because I need to relocate for a year, but I don’t want to deal with the board because of the fees they charge and the extensive application process for renters.  What would the consequences be if I'm caught going around them?

A. When you buy a condo you agree to be bound by the buildings by laws.  In an NYC condo, those bylaws typically give the board a right of first refusal if you want to sell or rent your apartment. To decide if they want to exercise that right, the board has the authority to request an application from your prospective tenant as well as fees. 

Should you attempt to go around the board,  your tenant could be evicted.  Your bylaws may also allow the board to assess fines and collect legal fees should they need to hire an attorney to address the issues. 

Mike Akerly is a New York City real estate attorney, landlord, and real estate broker. Rent Coach also appears in AM New York's Thursday real estate section.

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