Q. We're renovating a brownstone and we informed the landlords of the attached brownstones in advance. During demolition, one landlord called repeatedly to complain about the dust.
My contractors really did try their best to contain the dust, including hosing, closing all windows and doors, etc. I had my contractor speak with this neighbor to explain to him why he is getting dust. (My neighbor has brick walls internally, not sheetrock, and the sand and grout from his walls was creating more dust.)
He demanded that we clean his apartment as well as his tenants' apartments. Then he demanded that we clean his building throughout the entire renovation.
We offered to clean his building after the demolition to maintain a good relationship, but we explained that we were not legally obligated to do this. He told us not to bother and verbally threatened us.
What is the obligation of an owner to neighboring buildings during a renovation? Any advice on dealing with abusive neighbors with unrealistic demands?
A. While NYC Building Code is somewhat vague on this point, say our experts, you do have certain responsibilities to the neighbors.