Ask a Landlord-Tenant Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.
I need some more information to help you. What state are you in? Are you suing the landlord? How long was the condition unrepaired?
There is a case in NJ holding that you are entitled to a rent abatement (reduction) if the landlord's fails to maintain the premises in a habitable condition. Berzito v. Gambino, 63 N.J. 460 I assume you were paying rent up until the time you were injured. On the premise that the premises were not in a habitable condition, you would raise as a defense in any eviction case that the premises is not in a habitable condition as evidenced by your injury arising from a condition about which you complained, gave written notice and was never repaired. I am also assuming that your injury is attributable to some defect that was on your fix it list. In addition, you can assert a counterclaim seeking to recoup all the rent you previsouly paid on the basis that the unit was always not habitable and therefore you paid rent for a unit that was not in habitable condition. Your argument is that no rent should be due until the fixes are made and that you are entitled to a refund of all rents previously paid which would offset any rent due once the repairs were made.
There is no assurance that you would get a 100% refund of rent previously paid or that a court would determine that no rent was payable due to the defective condition of the premises. However, to the extent you are even partially successful, it will buy you more time.
I saw the updated post. I assume the backyard was part of the premises you were renting. The holes which caused the injury are a little borderline as they are not in the premises themselves. However, given your complaints, I think you have a reasonable chance of establishing that. Check with your lawyer for whatever research he or she has demonstrating that failure to fill and repair the holes was negligence on the part of the landlord as that will help you in your landlord tenant case.
If I have answered all your questions, please positively rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.
I sent you an answer to the question about a week ago. If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.