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Landlords ignoring repairs ranked biggest problem New York State renters face: study

Feb. 8, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The most common complaint tenants in New York State have with their landlords deals with the avoidance or mishandling of repairs, according to data collected by the moving resource site moveBuddha.

This conclusion was drawn based upon an analysis of reviews by renters on the crowdsourced landlord review site ratethelandlord.org. The site anonymously scores property owners based upon the categories of health and safety, respect, tenant privacy, repair and rental stability, with scores of one to five given out in each subject. Based on tenant reviews, the scores were then compared to the national average.

New Yorkers gave landlords a 2.2 out of five, 4% below the 2.29 national average, when it came to repairing their property for issues like burst pipes, damaged interior doors, broken laundry machines, drafty entryways and faulty boilers. Several tenants said that they had to chase down their landlords to acknowledge and address repairs; some expressed upset about issues with middle-men property agents who had to get permission from the landlord to hire a handyman; and some said that their landlords refused to fix frequent issues with boilers and electricity.

Health and safety concerns was the second-most common complaint from tenants in New York, also at 2.2 out of five, according to the study. The rating was 11% below the 2.47 national average. Among the more common health and safety concerns expressed by New Yorkers were pest infestations, emergency exits being blocked by piles of debris, entryway doors left vulnerable to intruders and broken heating units.

Third on the list was a lack of respect and consideration from landlords, which scored 2.5 out of five, 6% below the national average of 2.65. Many New Yorkers complained about their landlords being cruel and greedy, and that their landlords would often shout at, intimidate or bully them.

While rental stability was the fourth-most common, the score of 2.8 was actually 14% higher than the national average of 2.45. This indicates that not as many New York residents have to regularly deal with rent increases, sudden evictions or changes to the lease compared to the rest of the country.

“Renting can be stressful due to a lack of stability compared to owning a home and constant rent increases. However, the last thing a tenant needs is to deal with an uncooperative or contentious landlord when navigating common issues, such as vital repairs, lease amends or general inquiries,” a moveBuddha spokesperson said.

“As a renter, it’s important to discover how landlords are rated in your area to protect yourself against unsafe living conditions or neglectful maintenance, as well as avoid any legal compliance issues that may leave you liable for damage to the property. Moving to an area with more understanding landlords can improve your renting experience tenfold.”

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