What can my daughter do if her rental has a badly leaking roof?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What can my daughter do if her rental has a badly leaking roof?

Shortly after she moved in, about 1 1/2 months ago, it rained and she noticed the roof was leaking pretty badly, mainly in her closet. She called the property management office immediately and filled out the form they asked her to complete. The owner sent someone over once, who looked at it, and put a tarp on the roof. The owner has come over a couple of times, usually after she has called again to ask about fixing the roof. When it rains, the water streams down the wall in her closet, right around the breaker box. Since the beginning of last month, the owner has been saying he is waiting for materials. New Link Destination
day, he says he is trying to get a roofing company to take the job.

Asked on November 12, 2015 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Your daughter can try withholding all or a portion of rent until the repairs are made; landlords are obligated by the "implied warranty of habitability" to have premises that are fit and safe for their intended uses (e.g. as residence) and rain pouring into a closet, around a breaker box, would seem to be a violation of that obligation. If your daughter does this, she MUST save the money and be prepared to deposit it with the court, if the landlord seeks to evict her; the court will likely require her to deposit the money with it, to show that she has the rent (and has deliberately withheld it due to the failure to repair, as opposed to not being able to pay and using repairs as an excuse); she must comfortable with possibly being brought into court and with receiving an eviction notice; and she has to understand that once the repairs are made, most (and possibly all) of the rent will be released to the landlord.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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