What can I do if the plumbing is not working in my rent-to-own house and landlord is refusing to fix it?

We moved into our home 3 months ago. After the landlord signed a disclosure stating that there were no issues with the home we agreed to take care of all repairs. However, he did state he would fix anything major that came up if it was proven that it occured prior to our moving in. Now the plumbing is not working and 2 seperate plumbers stated that this has been an issue in the past and repairs have been completed in the past. So he lied in the disclosure. FYI, this is not the first issue that came up and he did make a minor repair to an A/C unit. What can we do?

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have evidence from other plumbers about a pre-exisiting problem that the landlord who you have a lease option to buy the home with failed to disclose known problems to you before you moved into the rental, first obtain a written statement from these two plumbers about the pre-exisiting problem.

Second, write the landlord about the problem advising him or her of the need to fix the problem with the plumbing by a set date and if not completed, you will make the needed repairs with the plumbing and deduct the costs of the repairs from the following month's rental check. Keep the letter for future reference. If the landlord fails to make the requested repairs by the stated date, you make the repairs, deduct the cost from the next month's rent and when you send the rent check, send a copy of the repair invoice to the landlord as well.

Good luck.

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