How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask barristerinky Your Own Question
barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33791
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
barristerinky is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am behind on rent with my landlord, I owe Jan and Feb

Customer Question

I am behind on rent with my landlord, I owe Jan and Feb totally 2400.00,( she says I owe 4800.00 but I have copies of deposited check that cleared to prove otherwise, so that not a problem in combatting). I havent paid mainly because she will not replace the AC unit in the office space I rent, our lease states that we need to maintain the maintenance which we have and spent lots of money doing so, it is completely burnt up and needs replacement, it has been 6 months since we have had no central AC. Everyday about noon my office gets so hot I am nausaus. It infuriates me how she feels that she does not need to replace the unit, but just today she gave me a 3 day notice to pay rent. I don't know what to do in my situation,
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

If this is a commercial lease, then there is no implied warranty of habitability like in a residential lease that would allow you to withhold rent if the landlord isn't maintaining the property in breach of the lease.

.

Your recourse here would be to sue her in small claims court under a breach of contract claim for the diminished value of the property without A/C as advertised and when you rented it vs. what your rent is. If it gets extremely hot, a judge could retroactively reduce the rent as damages by a certain percentage to compensate you for what you have vs. what you are paying for..

.

So if she gave you a 3 day for 4800 then you can effectively ignore that because if you have proof that you paid, you can get an eviction case dismissed if she tried to file one.

.

But you would need to pay the 2 months you are behind because the landlord being in breach doesn't give you the right to breach the contract as well and your recourse is to sue her for breach and come to court with "clean hands" showing you are the innocent wronged party.

.

As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I also have another issue about 10 months ago, we had another unit of hers rented out right next to us on a month to month basis, the unit is a triplex (one unit is a residential unit, the middle one is an office, and the third unit is her dental practice) For about 8 years I rented the residential and the middle office, I had an employee staying in the residential side about 2 years ago and I paid the rent as part of helping him get on his feet, he ended up being a terrible employee and I had to let him go, told him he had a month to find a new place to live, he went to the landlord and signed a lease on the unit and I was never told of this, can she do that, shouldn't I get something in writing that I know longer have a lease, also I was paying the rent on this unit for a month while this was going on behind my back. She signed another person to the lease without our knowledge and basically forced us to have to rent a storage unit instead of keeping the unit next door. IS this normal behavior, if I am going to go through the trouble of small claims should this be brought to the judges attention?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 9 months ago.

shouldn't I get something in writing that I know longer have a lease,

.

Yes, she would have to give you a written 30 day notice terminating your lease and entering into a new one with the other person starting at the end of the 30 day notice period.

,

If you were paying rent on a unit that she rented to someone else under a lease, then you can sue her for the return of that month's rent if you sue. You could also sue her for illegal eviction, which is what that was, but I don't know what if anything the judge would award for that.. He might award you one month's rent for a storage unit as damages since the landlord could have terminated the tenancy with a one month notice.

.

.

thanks.

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
In your opinion should I just write her a letter explaining my actions, along with my 2400.00 to get caught up
Expert:  barristerinky replied 9 months ago.

I would do so and include proof of the payment of the other $2400 just to kill the 3 day and then take her to small claims court under a breach of contract claim for a reduction in the amount of the rent as damages and ask for it to be retroactive back to when the problem first started.

.

.

thanks

Barrister