Rent reduction sought for pool closure

Rent it Right

Q: My sister has lived in a nice apartment building with about 200 units for 15 years and has enjoyed using the pool there each summer. This year, the owner decided to close the pool because of the maintenance expense, to the dismay of many tenants. The tenants met with the owner to discuss the issue and he said he would "sell" the pool to them for a penny and it would then be up to them to maintain it. Most of these people moved into the building thinking they would have continued use of the pool without the worry of maintenance or expense, and now they just walk by it each hot day to see it covered and going to waste! What is their recourse? –Pearl M.

A: Your sister’s landlord is imaginative, I’ll give him that. But he’s also avoiding his contractual obligations, and even setting himself up for a nightmarish legal mess. Let’s get to the simpler issue first.