Where do I send my money until my landlord fixes all the problems in my apartment?

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Where do I send my money until my landlord fixes all the problems in my apartment?

My landlord has been harassing me that he will not fix problems that need repair in my unit.

Asked on February 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  If the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following remedies:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another option is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

You didn't say what is wrong in the apartment to be repaired.  If it is something minor, then the above remedies may not be applicable because something minor might not constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  If there are health and safety issues regarding the necessary repairs, then there may be a breach of the implied warranty of habitability in which the above remedies would be applicable.  If there are code violations, it would also be advisable to contact the local housing code inspectors who will pursue an enforcement action against your landlord.

You said that your landlord has been harassing you when you notified him of what needs to be repaired.  If he evicts you over the repair issues, you could sue him for retaliatory eviction.  Retaliatory eviction is when the landlord evicts the tenant for something that is not a breach of the lease.

In answer to your question, you don't send the money anywhere.  You can withhold rent and defend against eviction if the necessary repairs are major and/or constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability as discussed above.


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