Tenants affected by Hurricane Sandy faced many challenges living without heat and power after the storm, and some are now asking why their landlords want them to pay back rent for the time they were without basic services. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.
Many tenants in the city have been asked by their landlords to pay back rent for the time they were without basic services such as heat and power after Hurricane Sandy, but some do not think that makes sense.
"Why should we pay for times that they can't provide what they said they can?" one tenant tells NY1.
Tenants and Neighbors, a tenant advocacy group, says that by law tenants should not have to pay rent for the time they were without essential services.
"We got a lot of calls from people saying, 'Do I really have to pay the rent if I didn't have heat for a month after the storm or my apartment was uninhabitable for a month after the storm?'" says Sam Stein, a spokesman for Tenants and Neighbors. "We were advising people to file with New York State Homes and Community Renewal and to get a rent abatement for reduction in services. "Even if that wasn't done without the essential services, a tenant shouldn't have to pay their rent."
Landlords who spoke with NY1 have no comment as to why they are trying to charge the back rent.
For guidance on how to handle this situation, contact Tenants and Neighbors at 1-212-608-4320.