Ask a landlord-tenant lawyer and get answers ASAP
Good morning Debbie. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. Can you tell me in what state you are located? Thanks.
Thanks for your quick reply. It will take me a few minutes to type my response. Thanks for your patience!
You absolutely have rights here. With every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the tenant's right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. Given your facts, you are clearly not being afforded such enjoyment of the premises....and therefore the landlord would be in breach of the implied warranty of habitability. This puts the landlord in default. This gives you the right to terminate the lease and sue for damages, including the cost of moving plus include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the reduced benefit of your rental bargain due to the inhabitability. Furthermore, although you have the right to terminate the lease due to the breach, you are not required to do so. Rather, you can file a claim against the landlord for damages due to this breach. Damages would include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the problems, and to either reduce the rent going forward or pay you for temporary living expenses, at your option, until the problem is fully remediated.
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First, the law does not allow them to throw you out without obtaining an eviction order from the police. You would get notice of any petition filed with the court and could contest the landlord's petition; based on your facts, you would easily prevail and the court would dismiss the landlord's petition. Also, Mississippi law prohibits the landlord from any retaliation against you for pursuing your legal rights. If you want to sue them, I would suggest getting a lawyer. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the state bar association or your nearest law school for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school. In my experience, simply filing the suit is sufficient to get the landlord to resolve this issue in your favor and you would not need to appear in any court to simply file the suit. Given that you are low on funds, I would suggest you go to your nearest law school. Most of them have legal clinics that are run by law students and supervised by law professors that will take cases such as yours on a pro-bono basis to help the students, who are idealistic, energetic, and very bright, get experience while under the watchful tutelage of their law professors.
I'm sorry you feel that way; I tried to give you all your available options. You have plenty of recourse here and I've given you the roadmap to pursue them.
I tried to answer your question fully, completely, and accurately. But, since I have not apparently been able to provide you the help you seek, I will opt out to open your question up to all experts so another expert can hopefully timely provide you the information you seek. Please do not respond to this post as it will only slow the process of such an expert picking up your question. Take care.
Thank you! You too!