Landlord refuses to give an address to mail a certified letter requesting repairs.

Asked over 1 year ago - Franklin Square, NY

I live in Nassau County (NY) in a private house that has 2 apartments. My landlord does not live on premises. He comes once a month to pick up our rent in cash (yes, he gives us receipts). For over 1 year now, we have requested a repair to the vanity mirrors/medicine cabinet in the bathroom. The doors are loose and dangling. After hurricane Sandy, there are now more repairs (swing door and awning are broken, metal parts are dangling). We have a 5-year-old and are worried for her safety everytime we go in and out the house. Every month, he promises he will take care of it, but he doesn't. I want to send him a certified letter listing all requests for repair, but he refuses to give us an address. He no longer picks up the rent himself (he sends his stepson). So, what do I do?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Steven Warren Smollens

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Dear Tenant:

    The New York State statutory Warranty of Habitability, subjects a landlord to strict liability for failure to make repairs in the rented premises, as long as the tenant provides notice to the landlord of the defective conditions.

    The solution to your problem is at your own hand. If all mail relating to this house is addressed to the landlord at the address of the house, then that is THE address. Mail your letter to your landlord by certified mail (no need for a return receipt) and by regular first class mail, from the US Post Office. Each addressed envelope should contain a duplicate original of your letter to the landlord informing the landlord about conditions which must be repaired. You could also include photographs.. Make certain to retain proof of mailing, copies of the outside of the addressed envelopes, photos and letter.

    When the stepson comes around again for the rent and the mail, have him sign a receipt for all the mail received, including the certified mail numbers, you could photocopy the outside of each received envelope and attach the photocopies to the receipt. Make sure that the receipt is signed by the step son as "received mail addressed to "landlord's name" as per list and copies of envelopes attached." You could prepare a duplicate original of the receipt so the step son has a copy. Among the letters addressed to the landlord listed on the receipt and copied, will be the two letters you mailed to the landlord about the repairs.

    Once the mail is picked up, you have provided notice.

    You may also find out if the local code enforcement office will inspect the home and report violations.

    You may then consider hiring an attorney to enforce your rights to a safe and habitable home free of conditions that need repair.

    Good luck.

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should... more
  2. Richard J. Chertock

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . I agree with counsel that a background search may yield an address and that you can give the letter to the stepson when he collects the rent. You might also try checking the records at the county clerk to see where the tax bills are sent or if there is an address listed on the deed to the property.

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  3. Michael C. Wild

    Contributor Level 13

    3

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    Answered . If you have a written lease, try the landlord's address provided for in the lease.

    This communication is intended only to provide general information. No attorney-client relationship is created.
  4. Edwin Drantivy

    Contributor Level 18

    2

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    Answered . A background search on the Internet may do the trick. However, you can also give the letter to the stepson when you see him since he is acting as the landlord's agent. Keep accurate records of when you notify them of repairs and the content their responses.

  5. Sandra A Joseph

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . In addition to Mr. Smollen's excellent advice, you can also had a copy to the stepson who collects the rent.

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