What can I do about having bad wiring in the house that I rent?

UPDATED: May 30, 2012

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What can I do about having bad wiring in the house that I rent?

It’s a fire hazzard and my landlord won’t fix it.

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is what is known as an "implied warranty of habitability" in every residential lease. Basically, this means that every tenant must be provided a safe and sanitary place in which to live. In your premises there are obvious safety issues. If your landlord refuses to repair or correct the condition you should contact you locality's Zoning Code Enforcement office and/or the Fire Inspector. They will come and, if the situation warrants, issue code violations against your landlord.

Further, if your landlord still fails to remedy the situation, you could repair the items yourself and deduct the cost from your rent (probably too costly in this case), withhold your rent, or even terminate your lease. However, before taking any of these steps you need to make sure that you are in compliance with the law. If it comes down to it, you will need to consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant matters or at least contact a tenant's rights organization (many have hotlines that you can call).

Note: If you need to move out while repairs are being made, your lanlord is responsible for reimbursing for reasonable expenses that you incur as a result (motel, meals, etc.)

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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