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Hi. I stayed at a hotel during emergency repairs in my shower since ceiling fell. Does the landlord have to pay my hotel bill?

New York, NY |

I live in a rental apt in a pre-war building in Manhattan. One Sunday afternoon, suddenly the ceiling above the shower fell off completely. Therefore my shower needed emergency repair that lasted for 2 days. I contacted my landlord right away and he told me they were going to work on my bathroom starting on Monday. During the repairing, since I could not use the shower and I was afraid that other parts of the ceiling in the bathroom were going to fall, I stayed in a hotel for two nights, until the work was finished. Do I have the right to ask my landlord to pay for my hotel bill? Thank you very much in advance.

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Attorney answers 3


Dear New York Tenant:

You surely have the right to ask the landlord to cover the hotel, but that should have been arranged before you moved out for the repair.

Now that the repair is complete and you are back in the apartment, asking may provide a yes or a no. And then if the answer is no, you would need to decide if this is an event that has the substance of a lawsuit.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


What caused the collapse? Did the landlord have actual or constructive notice?

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Ask, but as Mr. Smollens pointed out, you'll need to decide whether a "no" is worth fighting over. I suggest offering to split the bill in half.
Good luck.

I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists. I earn my living collecting points for "helpful" answers.

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