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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16344
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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My landlord (who is also my dad) and I have a verbal

Customer Question

My landlord (who is also my dad) and I have a verbal agreement. Our rent was due May 5th but because of some hardships needed a little while more. He said no problem. My landlord/dad then needed work done at my grabdfathers house and agreed to pay him (I have texts stating that). We live in separate dwelling units on the same property & share a mailbox. This past week we had a falling out because of my grandpa suddenly passing, my landlords drug use and being verbally abusive to me and my family. And now he is demanding rent by today (he did give me a written notice on Friday) and said we no longer have access to the garage or parking. Which has never ever been a problem. Are we able to deduct the $ he owes for the work done and pay him the balance? But he also locked us access to the kitchen to cook. Our studio does not have a hot plate or stove. Is that legal? Also we live in HAWAII. Would appreciate us any legal advice. Thank you!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Legalease replied 11 months ago.

Hello there --

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I am reviewing this as if it were a typical landlord and tenant case and do not consider the fact that he is your father in my analysis. In a landlord / tenant situation, you are not permitted to make any deductions off of the rent unless a court gives you the permission to do that -- even if the landlord owes you money for work performed (you have to take him to small claims court for nonpayment of wages or nonpayment of a loan in order to recoup money that he owes for work you did for him). Typically the only things that a court will permit rent deductions for are for repairs that must be made due to safety and sanitary reasons (such as a rodent infestation or sewerage coming up through the floors in the bathrooms). He is also legally permitted to deliver a notice to quit for nonpayment of the rent and if you do not pay the rent, then he can sign the matter up in eviction court (typically it takes about 2-3 weeks to get a court hearing and if you cannot come to an agreement with the landlord, then the court will give you 7-30 days to leave the premises). If he wants you to leave for any other reason not to do with rent payments and you are a month to month tenant (paying monthly without a lease agreement) he has the right to give you a written notice to quit in 30 days (truly, he can ask you to leave for any reason or no reason if he wishes to do so but he must give you the proper 30 days notice and time to leave and if you have not left by day 31 then he can sign the matter up in eviction court and have you out within about another month after that).

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Regarding the parking and garage, unless you have it written in a lease or rental agreement that you have permission to use those areas of the property, it is his right to let you use those areas or to revoke those privileges if he wishes to do so. The KITCHEN is a different story, however, because he is legally required to provide you with a stove and cooking area if you are actually renting a full apartment from him (the law is different if you are just renting a few rooms in a larger house -- kitchen privileges must be part of the agreement in that type of situation). So, if you have a separate apartment that you are renting from your father in the house that has a kitchen servicing it by itself, then you must have access to that kitchen and stove to be able to cook and eat. It sounds to me like the STUDIO you are renting from him is an illegal landlord and tenant arrangement because he is not supposed to be renting it out as a separate unit unless there is a stove and an area for kitchen/cooking activities.

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Under the circumstances, if he takes you to court to evict you from the place, then you should go to the clerk's office at the county court and file a counterclaim against him for failing to provide a stove and/or adequate kitchen facilities and if he refuses to pay you the money that he owes you, you can also start a small claims proceeding at the same courthouse (the clerk's office will have the forms that you can use for the small claims court action). Once the matter gets in front of a regular housing judge, you can ask if you can withhold rent until he either provides an adequate stove and cooking area within the studio or removes any locks to get to the kitchen to use it for cooking and feeding your family.

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We can certainly have a telephone conversation on this matter but there are additional fees for it. I have to submit this to customer service and then customer service presents you with an offer for a telephone call (you can accept or decline). My suggestion is that you review what I wrote here for you and if you have any follow up questions, simply ask them in the next chat box. If you believe there are a lot of things you want to ask then it is up to you whether or not you want to proceed with a telephone call on these matters.

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Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above (third, fourth or fifth star in the ratings section above) so that I will be given credit for my time assisting you. The only way I receive credit is if you press a positive rating above. Your question will not close. THANK YOU

Expert:  Legalease replied 11 months ago.

Hello there --

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Do you have any further questions for me on this matter? If not, can you please press a positive rating above (third, fourth or fifth star in the ratings section above) so that I will be paid for my time and given credit for my time assisting you. The only way I receive credit is if you press a positive rating above. Your question will not close. THANK YOU

Expert:  Legalease replied 11 months ago.

Hello again --

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Do you have any further questions for me on this topic? If not, can you please press a positive rating above these chat boxes in the star rating section? I am paid NOTHING unless you press the middle star or the third or fourth star to the right of the middle star above in the ratings section. Doing so will not cost you additional money -- it is simply the trigger used by Just Answer to pay me for my time assisting you with this question. Otherwise, I am paid nothing. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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MARY