What are my rights as a tenant when the property managment company won’t make repairs to the home after repeated requests?

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2012

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What are my rights as a tenant when the property managment company won’t make repairs to the home after repeated requests?

There is a leak in the dishwasher whch caused water to seep through walls and saturate carpet, padding, wood floor and grout in the bathroom. Black mold was found when they ripped up carpet looking for the leak. They also put several holes in the walls and pulled off molding when they were trying to find the leak that they don’t want to repair. Problem was found almost a month ago. Managment company told me, “If it’s the dishwasher just don’t used it” and “I have other things to worry about”. I’m not sure what my next step should be.

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney, because you may have grounds for a legal action against your landlord, to force him to make repairs and/or to seek monetary compensation, such as a partial abatement (rebate) of rent for the time period you have lived with these conditions. All rentals come with what is known as the "implied warranty of habitability," or the obligation that the rental premises be "fit for their intended purpose," which in this case is residence. Conditions which impair habitability, like persistent leaks and black mold, can violate that warranty, giving rise to a legal claim. Also, if you are paying for an apartment with a dishwasher, if the dishwasher is nonfunctional, that may be a breach of your lease, since you are not getting what you paid for.

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