What can I do if my landlord will not fix make repairs on my rental house?

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What can I do if my landlord will not fix make repairs on my rental house?

We sent him an itemized list through certified mail. He did not accept the letter. He came up, fixed a problem. I handed him the list. He claimed he never recieved notiification of the certified letter. I showed him the envelope with the markings on it. He took the current list (that was 2 months go) and has done nothing since. I paid him a small portion of the rent and told him he would get the rest when he fixes the problem. He became angry and told me to fix one of the things myself. What can I do?

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  Not all maintenance problems constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  If your maintenance problems involve health and safety, they may be housing code violations constituting a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, and the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following remedies:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  For housing code violations, you can contact the local housing code inspector, who can bring an enforcement action against the landlord for housing code violations.

Again, not all maintenance problems rise to the level of a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

Since the landlord told you to make a repair yourself, you can hire someone to repair and deduct the cost from the rent.


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