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insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 53705
Experience:  Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
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My landlord call me last night around 5:45pm to ask if he could

Customer Question

My landlord call me last night around 5:45pm to ask if he could come today to do extensive yard work (cutting down trees). I texted him back because I could not talk and asked him not to. I still have 10 days remaining on the lease, it is the 20th of April and I vacate on May 1st. I asked him to please not do any extensive yard work until after April 25th when I would be more or less moved out. He did not respond. Today he showed up at 1130 with a full crew and began cutting down trees. He did not give me a time last night, he did not say he would be showing up anyway. The work is loud and aggressive. I cannot let my dogs outside as well. What are my rights? This is in the state of Virginia. Over the past several weeks he has shown up multiple times unannounced to survey the outside of the house. I have always let that go because it is relatively quick (1-2 hours) and I didn't think it was a big deal. He obviously has a habit of this. He also would not pay or arrange for a plumber to fix a large clog that made it impossible for me to use the dishwasher or kitchen sink. He came twice and attempted to fix it himself. Then he left saying he couldn't do it. He would not answer any further texts until I asked him what address the rent should be sent to for the following month. I paid and arranged for a plumber to come repair it. The plumber confirmed it was caused by years of buildup and not tenant neglect.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 6 months ago.
Good morning. You have the right to be reimbursed for the plumber repair. And, you have rights to a reimbursement of all or a substantial portion of your rent paid attributable to the period during which your landlord has taken these actions. With every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the tenant's right to the exclusive safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. With your landlord's actions, you have clearly not been afforded such enjoyment of the premises....and therefore the landlord is in breach of the implied warranty of habitability. This puts the landlord in default. This gives you the right to terminate the lease (which is not applicable in your situation given that your lease ends in 10 days). Furthermore, can you can demand he pay you damages due to this breach. Damages would include reimbursement of all or a substantial portion of all prior rent attributable to the period during which the landlord took these actions to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the problems, and to pay you for temporary living expenses, at your option, until the problem is fully remediated. If the landlord doesn't pay you voluntarily, file suit against your landlord. Filing this suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment. Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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