Watervliet, NY asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Living in “Seasonal” home all year without knowing ….

I live in Cairo, NY in an extremely small cottage for the last 4+ years and since I have moved in, I have questioned my landlord why my heating bills were so high and he said it was just the cost of electricity. Then recently, my landlord mentioned that this place used to be a resort which finally got me thinking so I called the Building and Codes and they told me that this cottage is only supposed to be used for “seasonal” use and not year round. Wouldn’t this be illegal and would I be able to get back some of the high costs of living here for the past 4+ winters? I could only afford to heat one room in the winter so my bathroom and everywhere else was freezing. There is no insulation in my clothes closet so my clothes are as cold as it is outside. Maybe he doesn’t pay his taxes on these during the “off” seasons. I would think this is illegal. Thank you in advance for your help.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Sandra M. Colatosti
Sandra M. Colatosti
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Licensed in New York

A: I would think that if it truly was illegal to rent the cottage as a year-round home, the Code Department would issue your landlord some kind of citation or prohibit him from continuing to rent it out as a year-round home. You could try taking your landlord to small claims court if you feel you are entitled to some kind of compensation. That being said, you might want to consider moving.

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