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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36587
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Our daughter, son-in-law, and two teen-age grandchildren are

Customer Question

Our daughter, son-in-law, and two teen-age grandchildren are living in a rented house, and have lived there for about 4 years. About 2 weeks ago, the drain field failed, and sewage has backed up into the septic tanks. (It initially also dripped sewage onto their washer/dryer in the house).
The landlord has pumped the tanks, but as soon as that is done they fill up again. A permit has been filed for a new drain field, but that could take months, and they still cannot use water, toilets, sinks, or showers. They are afraid to push the issue because they're afraid the landlord will just kick them out and they'll have nowhere to live. They are in the beginning stages of building a house and would like to stay where they are until they can move into their own house.
Can anything be done to provide safe living conditions while fixing this problem, or should we encourage them to look for other housing?
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.

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If the landlord can't provide adequate sewage facilities for the property, then he is not only in breach of contract, but he is also endangering their health due to contamination from serious bacteria like E-coli. This bacteria can cause anemia and kidney failure which can lead to death..

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So while I understand their desire not to "rock the boat", if one of them becomes deathly ill due to contamination, everything else will be insignificant...

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With that said, they have unassailable legal grounds to vacate, move elsewhere, and hold the landlord liable for their moving costs because the property is legally uninhabitable without a functioning sewage system.. That or sue him for breach of contract to get a judge to order the landlord to make repairs to bring the property up to code.

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If it were my family, I would be doing everything I could possibly do to convince them to leave before someone gets sick or worse..

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thanks

Barrister

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