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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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putting a lease in escrow

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my roof leaks and I am a picture framer. the landlord needs to replace the roof but insists just on patching it. it still leaks and I have had to move all equipment to one side of building, how do i put his lease in escrow until he fixes this issue
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

Is this a commercial or residential lease?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
it is a commercial lease
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

What does your lease say about the landlord and your respective duties to repair (or make habitable)?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
paragraph 9 of the contract states,(Lessor is responsible for all exterior maintenance, including parking lot, roof, grounds,etc.)
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

You can break the lease if the landlord won't repair in a timely manner. See: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+55-248.21

Or, you can withhold rent, and then if the landlord gives you notice to pay or quit, you can pay the unpaid rent to the court escrow service and if you have proof that the landlord did not repair the building, that will be an affirmative defense against the unlawful detainer action. See http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+55-248.25.

Have a licensed, reputable roofing company come and give you a written estimate for the repairs. That way, you will have evidence of the existence of the damage from an objective third party.

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