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Locked out by broken door lock- breach of warranty of habitability? Brooklyn

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York (Brooklyn 11237)

Hello all-

I recently came home (late in the evening) to find that the key to my apartment wouldn't turn and the lock was broken. Nothing was visibly wrong and I had my key. I called the emergency/after hours super multiple times only to reach a recording. I left a voicemail explaining the emergency. I also called the day super and the management company. The day super answered but was off duty and not available. Left with no other option, I called a locksmith who had to drill through the door and still had a hard time getting the door open because of the way the latch was broken off between the wall and door. The bill was $500 just to gain access to the apartment.

I filed a maintenance request for replacement of the lock the next day explaining the situation and stating my intention to deduct the cost of the repair from the rent. The lock was eventually replaced (within 2 days), and an email said management would call us regarding the cost.

That call never happened, and I deducted $500 from my rent. Now management is calling and saying I owe the balance, and that my lease states that I have to pay for any lock out or locksmith services.

I am looking at state law on repair and deduct, N.Y. Real Prop. Law � 235-b (for emergency repairs such as a broken door lock).
I would think having access to my apartment constitutes reasonable use, and that my attempts to notify management before calling a locksmith makes the landlord accountable, but is it "actual or constructive notice of the existence of the defective condition" if no one answers the emergency number?

When they called to say I owe more rent, management said it didn't matter that the broken lock was a hardware failure and not caused by my negligence or misuse.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!


Senior Member
you should have called your city inspections desk and let them order the LL to make a repair. There is no way to predict if you would be able to get that money back from your landlord via the courts. I suggest you use the links above to consult with a landlord before you dig in your heels on this.

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