What to do if a my landlord is ignoring a flooding problem in my rental?

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What to do if a my landlord is ignoring a flooding problem in my rental?

Rented a home last month and had heavy rain this weekend; the basement is now flooded. Called landlord and got a response back at 10:00 pm Monday evening. Left a voicemail stating that she took care of that problem years ago. Will not return my calls since.

Asked on August 17, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Every lease contains what is called the "implied warranty of habitability". This is a guarantee that the tenant will have a safe and clean (i.e. habitable) premises in which to live. If a rental is not habitable a tenant can: 

  •  Repair and deduct (fix the problem and either deduct the cost from their rent or have the landlord reimburse them);
  • Withhold rent (don't pay rent until the repairs are made); or
  • Terminate the lease (and additionally hold the landlord liable for reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of any move). 

However before attempting any of these self-help measures, you need to consult directly with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant matters, or you can speak with a tenants rights organization for help. If you fail to follow the proper procedures for implementing any of the above mentioned remedies, you could find yourself in legal trouble.


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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