What should I do if my home is in need of repair and my landlord is not fixing anything?

My landlord told me that my home would be immaculate when I moved in. I was supposed to move in on the first but I had to wait an extra week because the work was not being done. Even after giving him an extra week he still did nothing. I have no heat, I cannot use either shower, I cannot use my kitchen sink, I cannot use my dishwasher or fridge, I cannot use my front door, my kitchen ceiling leaks and is going to cave in, and very various other problems. I turned in a list of things that need to be repaired and was told by someone in the office that I need to call their insurance company.

Asked on October 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlord cannot fob off this responsibility on your or their insurer. All leases come with what's known as the "implied warranty of habitabilty." This is term implied or added to leases--even if it's actually stated in so many words--by the law, which requires that the premises be fit for its intended purposes. In this case, fit to be lived in. Conditions that make the premises not fit for residence, such as lack of heat, of showers, of kitchen appliances, or large leaks, an external door that does not work, etc. violate this warranty. When the warranty is violated, the landlord must fix the condition; if he or she does not, the tenant may bring a legal action seeking one or more of the following: monetary compensation; an order to fix the problems; or no-penalty termination of the lease and the right ot move. You should consult with an attorney about your situation, what you are entitled to, and the best way to enforce your rights.


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