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Old 12-11-2013, 02:55 AM   #1
 
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Default Landlord won't make a minor repair

Last month on my birthday, November 4, my bedroom ceiling had water pouring in through it. It was dirty toilet water and the entire apartment and building smelled like *****. The landlord hired a plumber promptly and it was fixed. But it left behind about a 3-4 inch hole in my ceiling. I've contacted him every week about patching it up, and he has ignored every single message. He has been prompt in fixing major problems but this one he blatantly has been ignoring. No it's not a big hole or anything, but quite frankly I don't like looking at it. I've contacted him 5 times about it and never get a response. What should I do?Landlord won't make a minor repair-imageuploadedbycurltalk1386755716.176876.jpg
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:15 AM   #2
 
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That's a health hazard, it looks like there's mold growing. Call him again and tell him if its not fixed within the next week then you are going to report him. He has a responsibility by law to fix problems, especially health related.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:57 AM   #3
 
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check your lease, could be there are some very specific procedures that have to be followed to get things like this handled - perhaps a certified letter or showing that you've notified him in writing X number of times, etc
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #4
 
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Thanks guys. I had an apartment once that had mushrooms sprouting from the ceiling. Thank goodness I don't think that'll be the case here
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:02 PM   #5
 
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I would withhold rent until it's repaired or contact the landlord and see if you can get it fixed yourself and deduct the cost from rent
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kejourner View Post
I would withhold rent until it's repaired or contact the landlord and see if you can get it fixed yourself and deduct the cost from rent
That's exactly what someone else recommended to me! Lol word for word. I think this is what I'm going to do.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:05 AM   #7
 
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I'll just say again to check your lease. I know that mine specifically states that withholding rent for this it's not permitted (unless you've done very specific steps including certified letter and three attempts in writing etc)

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Old 12-12-2013, 05:36 AM   #8
 
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I second PerriP. If withholding rent violates the procedures, then you might damage your credit.

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:42 AM   #9
 
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Of course it's not "allowed" but people do it anyway
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
 
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That's why I said check with the Landlord. But first and foremost I would look into the laws in your state. I have a tenant in Alabama through the housing authority and they withhold rent if repairs aren't made.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:56 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
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Of course it's not "allowed" but people do it anyway
Doesn't matter. I think it is a bad idea. Good luck!
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:19 AM   #12
 
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Many if not most states do allow withholding rent in lieu of repairs, but there may be a specific procedure you need to follow, so check state law. If you don't follow proper procedure, the landlord could potentially begin eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent, because they are not generally required to accept partial rent payments.

Usually withholding rent has to be for repairs that need to be done for health/safety reasons. I think this qualifies because, jeez, the hole was caused by sewage leaking! Who knows what kind of bacteria/mold/yuck is up in the ceiling where you can't see it? The damaged area should really be completely removed and the sheetrock replaced, retaped/textured, and repainted. I don't know if that's feasible, but at least it should be sealed, patched, and repainted.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:02 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sKorpio1190 View Post
Last month on my birthday, November 4, my bedroom ceiling had water pouring in through it. It was dirty toilet water and the entire apartment and building smelled like *****. The landlord hired a plumber promptly and it was fixed. But it left behind about a 3-4 inch hole in my ceiling. I've contacted him every week about patching it up, and he has ignored every single message. He has been prompt in fixing major problems but this one he blatantly has been ignoring. No it's not a big hole or anything, but quite frankly I don't like looking at it. I've contacted him 5 times about it and never get a response. What should I do?Attachment 40689
I can't speak for the laws in your state but this is what I would do.
Send him a certified letter stating you have contacted him 5 times to repair
the whole in the ceiling. Explain the reasons given here, that it is a health hazard because toilet water came through, the mold etc. The letter needs to read with good back up why you need this repair done. Do not say anything about "because you don't like looking at it". Or anything else that makes you look petty or that it would be a repair that its not needed.

Call someone to do the work, pay them with a check and keep the receipt Send him the receipt and a copy of the cancelled check when rent is due deducting the amount.

If he tries to evict you, you have all the papers you need to speak to the judge.
Keep in mind eviction is a possibility. However, I do not recommend withholding the ENTIRE rent. Quite frankly, you still live there, you need to pay rent. I know that is exactly what people do, withhold the rent to manipulate the situation. They do it because it is easy and it works but it is not right. Let me tell you, I had a tenant that every time she wanted something done, she threathened me. She never withheld rent until she finally did. To make the story short, let's just say she does not live there any longer. The minute I caught wind that she was going to be making payments as she wished because she "deserved" X amount I made sure she was gone. Landlords don't need tenants that don't pay and if you don't pay, you can get evicted.
This way you will only be arguing over a small amount, not the entire rent. It is less likely the landlord will want to get rid of you this way.

If you do decide to withhold the entire amount, make sure you have somewhere else to go. Moving isn't cheap either, so I don't recommend this option.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
 
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Thanks
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