If the windows in my home are nailed shut and my landlord won’t fix it, who do I contact ?

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If the windows in my home are nailed shut and my landlord won’t fix it, who do I contact ?

I have messages from him stating but he’s not fixing anything.

Asked on March 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If the fact that the windows are nailed shut violates local ordinances or building code, you could report the landlord to the municipal building department; since the department can also tell you if this is code violation, contacting them is a good place to begin.

2) A landlord must provide a premises fit for its intended purpose ("implied warranty of habitability"). Nailed-shut windows likely violates this obligation, by affecting both safety (how do you get out in the event of a fire?) and ventilation. You could potentially sue the landlord to get a court order forcing him to fix the situation or seeking monetary compensation for the time the windows are nailed shut; you may also be able to hire a contractor/handyman to fix the problem, then deduct the cost thereof from rent, if you have given the landlord notice to fix it but he refuses. It would be be best for you to consult with a landlord-tenant attorney in detail about the situation to evalute your best options, if the building department does not resolve it for you.


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