What to do if my rental is falling apart?

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What to do if my rental is falling apart?

I have been living at the same residence for over 3 years now. It is a duplex. For the past 10-12 months I have been telling my landlords about various problems that have been popping up regarding our house, including the siding on the house above the garage was so old it actually started to buckle and warp so that you could see a hole above the garage; all the electric sockets hardly work; the others sides water usage is charged to our bill; the plumbing is bad (pipes are starting to leak). Can I contact someone about this?

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Every residential lease (written/verbal) contains what is known as an implied "warranty of habitability". This is legal guarantee that gives a tenant the right to live in a safe and clean rental. If a landlord fails to make necessary repairs, a tenant may:

 

  1. Repair and Deduct - repair the problem and then charge the landlord for the cost of the repair;
  2. Terminate the Lease - end their tenancy and vacate the premises; or
  3. Withhold Rent - refuse to make any further rental payments until the repairs are properly made. 

As a part of all of this, you can also contact a the building department in your locality and see if it will send someone out to inspect your residence. Their finding can act as strong evidence of your claim.

Before pursuing any of these remedies you should first consult with a landlord-tenant attorney.  If you fail to follow proper procedures you could be held financially liable for attempting any of these self-help measures.


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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