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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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I'm in SC, I have been here a month. I told the landlord

Customer Question

I'm in SC, I have been here a month. I told the landlord that the stricker on my front door is missing and instead had an over sized hole that didn't allow the door to be securely closed & locked. The door had a 1/2" wiggle when the door was locked. Nothing has been done. Also, my oven stopped working a week ago I reported it, they had maintainance come a few days later & said it was not an emergency because I could still use the cook top. He said he'd be back the next day to fix it, he never showed up. I told the landlord a few days later that nobody has come, she told me they would be there the next day, again 3 days later nobody has come.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am very sorry to learn of this situation.

The security of your unit, as well as the appliances in your unit are "habitability" concerns, and you can use these to terminate your lease agreement if your landlord continues to ignore his duty to repair.

See:

  • SOUTH CAROLINA
  • Citation
  • SC Code §27-40-440, §27-40-610
  • Highlights
  • The South Carolina Landlord must:
  • · comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety
  • · make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition
  • · keep all common areas of the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and, for premises containing more than four dwelling units, keep in a reasonably clean condition
  • · make available running water and reasonable amounts of hot water
  • · maintain in reasonably good and safe working order and condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him
  • Remedy for breach
  • In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement. See §27-40-610 for details.

I generally recommend ensuring that you have developed some written records (letters or emails) to document your efforts to get the items repaired (it is not necessary, but if you are planning on doing something as drastic as claiming lease termination, you are going to want something to support it).

You can also file a small claims case in Magistrate's Court against your landlord for breach of contract (this is probably the safer route, and will allow you to recover both money damages and get a court order to repair the apartment).

See: http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/selfhelp/FAQMagistrate.pdf

Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to landlord/tenant mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your quick response to me! You have been a big help.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "For William B. Esq." and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.

Bill

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