What to do if I’ve informed my landlord of problems in my rental but only keep receiving empty promises of repairs being made?

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What to do if I’ve informed my landlord of problems in my rental but only keep receiving empty promises of repairs being made?

My oven has been broke for 2 months. The roof in my garage collapsed. My jealousy windows pop open on their own all the time. Also, the electrical outlets in my house half of them do not work and the other half the outlets are so loose they do not hold a plug. I have children in my home and are afraid for their safety.

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In every residential lease there is what is known as an "implied warranty of habitability". This means that every tenant must be provided a safe and sanitary place in which to live. In your premises there are obvious habitability issues. Since your landlord for all intents is refusing to repair or correct the condition (via empty promises) and a reasonable amount of time has passed (2 months), you should contact the Zoning Code Enforcement office and/or the Fire Inspector in your area. They will come and, if the situation warrants it, issue code violations.

Additionally, if your landlord fails to remedy the situation, you can repair the iproblems yourself (if feasible) and deduct the cost from your rent,; or withhold your rent; or even terminate your lease. However, before taking any of these self-help measures, you will need to make vetain that you're following the law for all of this. At this point you may want to consult with an attorney in your area who specializes in landlord-tenant cases or at least contact a tenant's rights group, many of which have hotlines that you can call.

Note: If you need to move out while repairs are being made, your lanlord is responsible for reimbursing for reasonable expenses that you incur as a result (motel, meals, etc.)


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