What to do if my daughter is renting a recently renovated apartment that has several city code violations?

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What to do if my daughter is renting a recently renovated apartment that has several city code violations?

As an example, the landlord poked holes in the heating vents in the basement to heat the basement which caused her heating bill to more than double. Each apartment has its own furnace, except hers – which is located in the basement of the building. He has never finished the apartment completely, does not clear snow from the driveway or sidewalks. He has not repaired nor completed the security fencing into the driveway. In her lease, it states she can subtract one days rent for every day the repairs aren’t made. Where can she go for help?

Asked on February 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

To landlord tenant court.  She needs to go down to court to start an action against her landlord to make the repairs.  She should invite the Department of Buildings to come over as well to look at what you claim are building code violations.  Once an action has begin and the violations are recorded you can request that you pay the rent in to court until the repairs are made and the violations cleared and you can ask for an abatement of the rent (reduction) or if the lease remedy is better, go for that.  This will not, of course, put her in good stead with her landlord but she needs to be safe and he needs to do the right thing.  Good luck to her. 


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