Ask a Landlord-Tenant Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs, and I look forward to assisting you. Thank you for your patience as I review your question. In a moment I will either ask you for more information or post an answer to your question.
Thank you for the additional information. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Thank you for your patience as I type out your answer.
Unfortunately, you can not withhold rent without exposing yourself to eviction for nonpayment. Your remedy for the landlord failing to make safety repairs is to make a written demand for the repairs and, if they are not done in 7-14 days, you may be able to move out, terminate the tenancy and sue the landlord for your damages.
Likewise, your remedy for the illegal trespass and removal of your property would be a suit in small claims court for trespass and conversion. Small claims court is designed to be "user friendly" so that you can present a claim without an attorney. Also, it moves much more quickly than regular court. You can get the necessary forms to start from the clerk of the court.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
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