Legally speaking, a nuisance is defined as "a course of conduct which has caused substantial harm to other tenants, to the building, to the landlord's employees, or to the landlord," says Himmelstein, and unless the behavior in question is severe, repeated incidents are a key factor. So in this case, the fact that you've flooded your neighbor's place on multiple occasions does not work in your favor.
My name is Samuel Himmelstein, I am a partner at Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph. We represent tenants, tenants associations, co-op shareholders and condo unit owners. Over the years we have represented numerous Mitchell Lama Tenants Associations and individual tenants. Most recently I argued and won a case at the New York State Court of Appeals, Murphy v. DHCR, which upheld the right of succession for Mitchell Lama family members, including non-traditional family members, in DHCR supervised buildings.
Landlords commonly request access from tenants for repairs both parties agree must be done. Work usually is completed with cooperation and communication on both sides. But sometimes, claims of "no access" are created by landlords and boards to pressure a tenant or shareholder to do something unrelated to a bona fide repair. For example, tenants have been asked to let an "inspector" in who turns out to be an appraiser for a bank, an adjustor for an insurance claim, or even a prospective buyer. Sometimes a landlord needs access to a tenant's apartment for work in other areas of the building but won't tell the tenant the real reason (knowing the tenant might not be obligated to comply), so he fabricates a reason. Most conflicts arise when landlords send workers without prior notice, workers do not show up, do a bad job, or are unlicensed. Tenants may rightly view such requests as "harassment" and disregard them entirely. Disregarding a request for access can be dangerous, however, no matter how suspect the request might be.
Housing Part or "HP" actions are great tools for tenants, shareholders and, in some cases, even condo unit owners, to obtain needed repairs in their apartments. This blog is a general introduction to this effective tool. In future blogs, I will address HP actions from the various perspectives of tenants, tenants associations, shareholders and condo unit owners.)