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awful plumbing

858 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  huskrkid
frodo lives! i've been away from the boards for awhile busy with my little homeschooler, but now i've a problem i bet you can help me with.

i'm a renter, and our building has awful plumbing. the kitchen sink will burble from time to time and small amounts of soapy water will spill out of the drain. well, a few days ago, i walked into our hallway to find it flooded with dark blue, soapy water. more of the stuff was gushing unstoppably from the sink, filling the kitchen and pouring out into the hallway flowing into the living room and soaking the carpet, and oozing out the front door onto the front landing.

the landlord came eventually, and apologized but blamed it on the upstairs neighbors, who have one of those sink-fill washing machines. he called a plumber, and who replaced part of the sink, and it still burbles. i didn't have a kitchen floor to be ruined - it's just plywood and i'm was waiting (since the beginning of summer) to have that replaced, but now it's all warped, cracked, peeling and splintering. also absent was my kitchen drawer, which has been missing since the former landlord (the current landlord's late father) took it to repair it about a week before he died - last year. the second kitchen drawer, however, was already falling apart and now with all the water damage it's barely holding together. the under sink cabinet's a total, mildewy mess. the moisture is attracting roaches. four of my dd's books and a pair of my sneakers were ruined by the water, and the living room rug was soaked. my husband missed a day of work, and my children were terrified by the gushing water.

we asked the landlord what he was going to do about the rug, and he told us just to put it outdoors to dry. i'm worried about bacteria and mildew growing in it and think it should be professionally cleaned - after all, my dd crawls on it all day long. i know sun would sterilize it, but we live in rochester and haven't had sun for over a week. for the past few days we've had cold, spitting rain - not the best conditions for drying anything, indoors or out. the rug is still wet on one end. is there anything i can do to get it safely clean and dry again? is it ruined? should we have it cleaned? should we send the bill to the landlord? i dread the thought of a legal battle but i have the sinking feeling that's what we're in for. we only have a month-to-month lease, so i'm afraid of getting evicted if we withhold rent to cover the damages or if we take him to court for damages and what are probably building code violations. added to this is the anxiety that this could affect my ability to homeschool my ds. state law says he has to be instructed in a building that is up to code.

advice? and what do i do about the rug while i'm waiting for legal aid to get back to us? i'm not sure we can afford to have it cleaned out of pocket, especially since suresh lost a day of work. thanks, mamas!

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Awful Plumbling? The whole place sounds awful, and you say you are renting? Sounds like the landlord ought to be paying you to live in such a horrid place.

the mold and mildew is enough to make me:puke

Is there any way you can possibly find another place to live? I am just cringing at the thought of anybody let alone children living in such a nasty place. And I am not a squeamish person.

Your own drain water all over your place is one thing but sombodies elses grey/black water over your carpeting and floors :puke.

What damages could the landlord possibly hold you to? I mean no flooring in the kitchen, no drawer, the cabinet is mildewed, the carpeting has somebody elses waste water all over it. He's the one that has damaged the property, not you.

The landlord needs to pitch the rug and buy a new one and do some major repairs IMO.

I am sure this isnt what you want to hear as I dont have any advice for you except MOVE, but I am just horrified that someone would rent a place like that out.
I hope all works out well for you

WB Frodo
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the rug is mine. i don't want to pitch it if i can save it. it has sentimental value.

we are planning on moving as soon as we can, but finding an affordable place is proving very difficult. i'm sorry if it horrifies you, but not everyone can afford their own home, or even a decent place to live. we are not "poor" so we don't qualify for any type of assistence, but we can't afford the 3- or even most of the 2- bedroom apartments in any safe, decent neighborhood, and with rising crime rates in the city, that's a concern. we are "falling between the cracks." the harsh reality is that i know families, (with very caring AP mothers) that are living in similar conditions or worse.

Frodo, do you know what the rug is made of? Is it a natural fiber or a synthetic? Is it small enough to fit in a commercial washing machine like a laundry mat might have? They do usually have extra large ones for rugs and bedspreads.
I don't know that it will help, but NY has a really strong attorney general...
this is from the AG's website:

A month-to-month tenancy outside New York City may be terminated by either party by giving at least one month's notice before the expiration of the term. For example, if the rent is due on the first of each month, the landlord must inform the tenant by September 30th before the October rent is due that he wants the tenant to move out by November 1st. The termination notice need not specify why the landlord seeks possession of the apartment. Such notice does not automatically allow the landlord to evict the tenant. A landlord may raise the rent of a month-to-month tenant with the consent of the tenant. If the tenant does not consent, however, the landlord can terminate the tenancy by giving appropriate notice. (Real Property Law § 232-b)
also mentioned is the fact that to evict you, he'd have to take you to court. And that you are justified in taking costs of repairs out of your rent (they tell you to keep your receipts...)

I'd say do what you have to do to live there safely. If he has a problem with it, send him a copy of the laws (which are on your side! Yay!)

I don't know what to say about the rug--the weather has been so cruddy here lately. Can you rent a steam cleaner and try that? At least then you know it is clean. Then maybe prop it over a few chairs to help it dry more quickly?

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I don't have a whole lot to add, but I can tell you that NY is a tenant friendly state. Sounds like you are already on the right track as well.

We had a crappy landlord in NY at one point. Thankfully we found a new place before too much damage to our things could be done. Still should have taken that [email protected]#^(Q$% to court.

Anyway, just wanted to send you a
. I hope legal aid will be of great help to you & that idiot gets what's coming to him. Allowing a sink draining washing machine in a rental. What a dumba$$.
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