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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 101731
Experience:  Attorney
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My landlord failed to make repairs despite several notices

Customer Question

my landlord failed to make repairs despite several notices i sent to him. Can i hold the rent in order to force him follow the agreement? I live in Fairfax VA
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation.
What kind of repairs are needed, specifically?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not able to use the Stove because knobs are broken plus some other things
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The freezer in the kitchen is not reaching the right temperature 0 F.
The patio fence door is broken.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
A landlord is responsible for warranty of habitability for the living space of the tenant. This means they have to ensure that the property is livable, especially:
Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety
-Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition
-Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him
- Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable air conditioning if provided and heat in season
- Maintain the premises in such a condition as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold
(Virginia Code §55-225.3)
If the landlord does not do this, then the tenant can - after giving proper notice of demand and reasonable time to fix it, and the landlord not fulfilling the demand - do the following:
F file a complaint with the local General District Court declaring the problem and asking for relief, which can be lowered rent, permission to abandon property, etc. The tenant would then pay into an escrow account, and not directly at to the landlord. After the hearing of the case, the court decides who gets the escrow money, partly or all of it, and whether some of it should go to repair, etc.
NOTE that this is a major step. The issue or issues has/have to be SIGNIFICANT for tenant to be reasonable in taking it.
Good luck.
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