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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  Landlord-Tenant Law Expert
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I need advice with a landlord/tenant issue. 4912 Rd.,

Customer Question

I need advice with a landlord/tenant issue.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer:*****, Fairfax, Va. 22032
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes. Before moving out, I filed complaints with Fairfax County regarding several code, safety and health issues which are being actively dealt with at this time. My issue is with the landlord who allowed the property to fall into extreme disrepair since going to Texas in early July to see his sick parents (so he says). The landlord (Winbery) had a server place a demand for payment (5days) notice on our door, but the person from Consumer Affairs said that it is only a contrived letter, not formally in the "system". We are arranging an arbitration at this time because Winbery claims we owe him $6000 for August, September and now October rent. It is complicated why we have not sent him the rent to Texas, but my wife and I feel due to no central AC since mid August and mushrooms growing from our bathroom tiles and pool turning green and he drained the jacuzzi before he left that we should not have to pay him for those services which ALL utilities are included in our rent, with use of pool and jacuzzi as well. We asked for a reasonable amount to pay for rent but he INSISTS he is privy to ALL the rent even though he does not provide the services he agreed to per the original lease terms. We gave proper notice to vacate but even that is a clouded issue as well.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My wife Tracy and myself, Ivan have complete and accurate history of documentation including texts, pictures and possible witness testimony that numerous issues exist on many levels that I have not begun to mention. The basement apt. in the SFH has a full and operating kitchen with a stove/oven which Tim Nicholson, County Inspector says is a code violation. In fact Nicholson learned that there are 3 working kitchens in this house and are illegally wired with romex wire stamp dated year 2008 and no permits have ever been acquired to permit these alterations. Winbery has owned the home since the 1990's and when questioned about the kitchen by Consumer Affiars persons in an impromptu phone conference with Winbery he stated he "bought the house that way" clearly a lie. I also happen to have the origional Craig's List add for this rental we printed for our records and Winbery clearly misrepresented this rental in the add, we rented this apt. unseen from Florida (shame on us!), but we had compelling reasons for that at the time. In my opinion we do not owe him a dime as he still has our $2100 deposit in his possession and I feel I might want to, if sanctionable, to countersue his $6000 claim with some substantial amount due to the fact that in 3 calender years we have methodically paid him $78,000 rent up to July, 2016 under false pretenses that it was an illegal apt. arrangement and that he owes us restitution for knowingly renting this apt. with the knowledge it is illegal setup and not quite the 1500 sq. foot floor space he advertised it to be. I feel I have been cheated and lied to from before day one with this guy. Even our entrance way into the apartment is not quite legitimate as it is necessary to croos into the neighbors' yard just to enter the back yard where we enter the apt. through the sliding glass door by the pool (our "front door"), a slippery slope that we have fallen on many times when wet or iced up. Winbery calls this in a ridiculous rental addendum our "unique entrance way" that he tried to get us to sign upon expiring original lease in 06/2014. I could go on and on, but the point is that in tolerating so many shortcomings in living there and his temporary-at-best personal repair jobs, when the AC went out (for the umpteenth time!) in mid August it was the straw that broke the camels' back and we had no AC up until we moved out (9/30) during one of the hottest summers on record. RIDICULOUS he thinks that is OK and we should have to pay FULL RENT. There is more to this story on many levels, but the bot***** *****ne is I feel he owes us restitution from the rent he has collected over the years from us under illegal and false pretenses. I certainly think it is much more than unfair to have to pay the FULL rent to him when he clearly did not provide the services he agreed to in the nature of the original lease. Please advise, do I have some legal justification for my concerns?
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  socrateaser replied 10 days ago.


Question for you: you stated that there was some interaction with a code enforcement officer. Did the officer actually inspect the property and find violations which directly affected your unit?

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