What to do if my tenant is withholding rent due to a bogus claim?

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What to do if my tenant is withholding rent due to a bogus claim?

I have a tenant whom after being served eviction papers claims he as not paid rent in 3 months due to no heat. The heat issue was known after they moved in but they offered to fix it, if the security deposit and prorated rent is not charged. I agreed. I also offered to supply electric heaters until repairs can be made. They refused my assistance. Hundreds of phone calls between tenant and landlord have been madebut not one mention that this is the reason for not paying rent. Now in the courts it is the main reason. Is my 10 day notice to pay, signed by tenant and phone records enough?

Asked on January 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation.  The problem is that you made this agreement orally rather than in writing. Your lease still reflects the original rental deal and included in that is a warranty of habitability which states that you are to provide the heat. So the court may not listen to you hereand if the tenant lies you are sunk. Your proof will not suffice.  Getlegal help.  Good luck.


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