One thing most tenants can expect from their rented spaces is a working stove, but with New York City landlords, nothing is a given.
One renter took to Reddit when they found out the apartment they just signed a lease on won’t have gas for months.
The tenant described how they signed a lease for a “decent building in midtown Manhattan.” However, just two weeks before moving in, the landlord said there wouldn’t be gas until October (this post was written in June).
Gas is needed for the kitchen stove and possibly for heating. The renter said, “Obviously this is a pretty big issue,” and thus asked the Reddit community: “Are we entitled to any sort of protections here? Feel like I shouldn’t be paying the obscene NYC rent for an apartment that doesn’t even have gas.”
The comments all seem to agree that this renter should not move in and break the lease if they can. Many veteran New Yorkers agreed that even if the landlord estimates the gas will return in October, it will likely take much longer.
New York City renters have protections that maintain a standard of habitable apartments. This includes heat and hot water, which in many older buildings are fueled by gas. It’s not clear from the original post whether the apartment will have hot water and heat, but it definitely won’t have a working gas stove.
Luckily, the issue with the gas isn’t a leak, which can go unnoticed and be incredibly dangerous if not handled immediately. One easy solution the landlord could choose would be to simply replace the dirty energy–fueled gas stove, which harms both the environment and human health, with an electric stove — especially considering the city’s recent move to ban gas stoves in all new buildings.
If the landlord fails to act to fix the problem, they could be subject to a Housing Preservation & Development violation. If only the stove is affected by the lack of gas, then the landlord must provide a suitable alternative, like a hot plate. While that’s better than nothing, paying hefty Manhattan rents to have only a hot plate does not sound like a fun time.
As many commenters stated, the process of fixing the gas, which the Redditor mentioned is broken in the entire building, will “take a long time.” The landlord and Con Edison, the provider of gas and electricity in Manhattan, will most likely have a multi-month back-and-forth that will only cause headaches. Hence the repeated sentiment: “Do. Not. Move. In.”
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