What legal options can we take against a negligent landlord?

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What legal options can we take against a negligent landlord?

Basically, we have asked our landlord for the past 10 months to fix 3 things (leak in garage, 2 heaters, and 2 screens). Nothing as been fixed. We started withholding $400 a month starting 4 months ago. The money has been set aside in a separated account. We have letters, texts, and documentation of landlord’s negligence.

Asked on July 22, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I can understand how frustrating it must be to have things not taken care of promptly by your landlord but withholding rent is really not the best idea.  In fact, courts and judges hate it when landlords and tenants try and "self help" themselves.  What you really need to do is to go down to court and to ask the clerk to allow you to pay your rent in to court and to start an action as against your landlord for the repairs.  Ask also for an abatement (reduction) of the rent for the time that you have had the problems.  Once your landlord stops getting your rent all together he or she will respond much more promptly.  Good luck.


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