12:01 AM 02/10/2013
Hello. Just wondering if and how any of you have dealt with this conundrum. We're living in an upper duplex and will have a tenant in the garden level. What is the best way to deal with going down to the cellar for boiler maintenance through the rental?
If it's just for boiler maintenance once a year, why not just schedule access with them, or even go in through the front hatch? If you're going to want to go down more often, you could section off the hallway to the cellar to only be accessible by you.
2:58 AM 02/10/2013 | 0 Votes
The best way to deal with any tenant is through honesty, kindness and communication. If you have known "issues" of any kind (smoking, pets, access) discuss them with prospective tenant before signing lease and, if necessary, include a specific rider with the lease.
In many brownstones, the hallway on the garden level is common space, not exclusive to the garden leel tenant. Regardless, LLs can enter a tenant’s apartment at a reasonable time after providing reasonable notice (24 hours) if the entry is either:
--to provide necessary or agreed upon repairs or services, or
--in accordance with the lease, or
--to show the apartment to prospective tenants or purchasers.
In an emergency, LLs can enter a tenant’s apartment at any time and without notice.
9:53 AM 02/10/2013 | 0 Votes
When we first moved to Brooklyn we rented a garden apartment in the south Slope. Although the garden was for our exclusive use the owner made it clear that, even though we could use the hallway that lead to it, that hallway wasn't officially part of our apartment and that he could use it to access the celler. The landlord didn't abuse his privilege and the arrangement worked out just fine with no friction.
11:06 AM 02/10/2013 | 0 Votes
I moved the tenant entrance closer to the front of the house and added a wall and door a few feet in front of the stairs to the parlor. I also walled off just behind the basement stairs, creating a private hall. It has worked well.
1:54 PM 02/10/2013 | 0 Votes
I don't see the problem, as long as you have discussed this with your tenant. As we have the lower duplex, access to the cellar is not an issue, but we must enter the tenants apartment to get access to the roof, sometimes with workmen. We have not had a problem with any of our tenants for the over 25 years we've owned the house.
4:33 PM 02/10/2013 | 0 Votes
Assuming that you have access without going through their apartment, this shouldn't pose any problem. If you need to drain the boiler frequently, as some old ones require, and you do it at a particular time, just tell them if they hear you going into the cellar, say, on Saturday afternoons, that it is just you draining the boiler.
I'm guessing you have to go through their apartment. If so, just explain to the tenant that you need to access the boiler to keep it functioning properly, and how often. Then tell them you will call them to arrange a time to do so before you do. Some tenants won't mind you going in if they aren't home and just doing it. Others, like me, don't like my landlord going through my place without me being there, or at least knowing they are going to go through (so I can put stuff away), and you don't have the right to go through without notice if it isn't an emergency, which this isn't, so be sensitive to their wishes if they wish that.
If they want to be there, or at least know when you are going, see if you can stick to a particular day, and then let them know before you go - call and say - "I'd like to come now, or in a hour, is that OK"? If they are OK with you going through with them not there, still try to stick to particular day, and call before you go, so you will more likely avoid the embarassment of encountering a tenant who is in bed, or just out of the shower. (I once had a landlord walk in to do maintenance when I was sick in bed with the flu with no notice, not a call or a knock, when he presumed I would be at work, which I would have been if not so sick, and I was really pissed off at him. Looked up the law, and demanded notice, which I thought would be just common courtesy, from then on.)
Unless my landlord was an actual friend, the need to do this would bug me no end. Better would be a hallway design that let you access the cellar without going through the rental. I would expect this need to access my home regularly to be disclosed when I first saw the place (though I'd probably think to check out myself whether there was other access to the cellar for my landlord), and if accessing my home for regular maintenance were required, I'd pass on renting the place. But people are different.
5:39 PM 02/11/2013 | 0 Votes