2.18.2008

My Landlord is Me, Sort Of

If you live in New York City, and you rent, and you do not have your own boiler, heat and hot water are your right, not a favor or a privilege.

If your landlord denies you heat between November and May, or hot water any time of year, you may have a cause of action against him (or her, or it, if your landlord is a corporation). And, as it relates to housing, you may be entitled to treble damages. This is legalese for triple the amount of money your lack of hot water or heat cost you.
The only exception is for emergencies, or when the lack of heat and/or hot water was so short it did not amount to an injury under the law.
Tenants, even if they have a meritorious claim, tend to lose in court because they often do not have legal representation. Landlords almost always have legal representation.

And, what the F is up with the word "landlord"? It is beyond arcane and, to me, implies that tenants are serfs in some fiefdom. A fiefdom where the median cost of renting a studio is sixteen-hundred dollars a month (according to something I saw on HGTV, if I understood correctly) deserves a better word for landlord. But I cannot get friends and family to break the habit of using this word.
It definitely has a certain ring to it when one finds themselves saying, "My landlord is a prick."

In other palaver, the site of the old Blockbuster on Steinway is going to be, according to my gossip-mongering friend, a Rite-Aid or Duane Reade.

So I will continue to wait for my bookstore...

But today, I am just going to turn this damn machine off and head to the park. I am not Charles Dickens, and I do not get paid by the word. (haha)

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