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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33704
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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I have signed a lease on a rental property on August 1 this

Customer Question

Hi I have signed a lease on a rental property on August 1 this month and we have bad sewer problem it erupted in the basement as well as the master bedroom the landlord id telling me to pay the plumber with the rent I owe him
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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I am sorry to hear that this has happened at the beginning of your new tenancy..

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Are you still occupying the property?

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Are the bathroom facilities unusable?

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What is your legal question that I can help with this morning?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much yes we are still in the house and no the bathroom is unusable I paid a deposit and first month rent someone had gotten my check account info so the deposit and rent checks came back so we got our own plumber out there to help with the problem and the owner told us to do that but now he is saying pay him with the money I owe him
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Ok, are you asking if legally you should pay the plumber with the rent money, then yes this would be entirely appropriate because the plumbing issue would make the house uninhabitable until repaired so would put the landlord in breach. When the landlord is in breach, that relieves you of the obligation to perform under the lease contract by paying rent. So you would be entirely within your rights to "repair and deduct" from the rent considering the emergency nature of these repairs.

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Just make sure that you get receipts for any costs you incur from the plumber so you can submit copies with any remainder of the rent if the repairs don't cost more than the rent.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok so when I signed the lease they stated it was rent ready so do I have a right not to pay the rent or I just need to do what I need to do
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

No, if you are using the rent money towards paying for these emergency repairs, then you don't have to pay the rent for that month. I would opine that you would still have to pay for the deposit, as that is for any damages that you might cause during the tenancy, but that is up to the landlord to demand.

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But once the repairs are made and the bathroom facilities are usable, then your normal rent would resume the next month.

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So if rent is $500 and it costs $500 for repairs, you don't pay rent for one month. If repairs are $250, then you pay $250 as rent that month. If repairs are $750, then you don't pay rent for one month and only pay $250 the next month.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also will it be Breach of contract if they say it was rent ready?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Well, technically something like this might not be predictable. Until someone moves in and has a problem, it is possible that the landlord didn't know about it..

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But they are in breach until all repairs are made and the property is habitable again.. So if you had to stay in a hotel until the bathroom facilities are fixed, then the landlord is responsible for those costs as well and you could sue them in small claims court if they refused to reimburse you for any costs you incurred due to their breach.

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thanks

Barrister

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