Real Estate Law
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Hi! I'm Heather. I've been a practicing attorney for the last 15 years, and I'd be happy to assist you for informational and educational purposes.
One moment as I type. . .
Normally, your contract/lease with your landlord is going to have language about how the lease renews. Most leases say that they turn into a month-to-month after the original term (one year) of the lease expires. Most likely your lease states this, but it is possible that it states it renews for the original term automatically. You will have to study the language of the lease to determine the answer to this question. If the lease truly does not speak to this, then it would most likely go to a month-to-month, which is the default under the law.
Since you moved in with a lease, unless the lease specifically states that it doesn't apply after one year as to maintenance, which I would be surprised if it said that, then the lease terms will apply even though you are past the one year.
This is a very frustrating problem. If the condition is very bad, you should get it fixed and deduct that amount from your rent, and/or move since by not fixing a problem as serious as this, the landlord is basically "constructively" evicting you. Your landlord should have not left the country without a plan for maintenance when he was gone.
Has that answered your question?
Ahhh. Sorry for that confusion. Well, I think it would probably be difficult to get a rent reduction awarded in court, since he did fix it by the 7th day, as per the contract. I think your best bet is to approach him and tell him how badly it inconvenienced you and ask him if he would give you something like a 10% reduction for the month. He might agree to it since it was so hot for you for an entire week. You might also give him any information on inconveniences you incurred, such as spending the nights with family if applicable.
If the contract requires it to be renewed in writing, and that did not happen, but you and the landlord still performed as if it was renewed, then the court is still likely to impose the provisions of the contract, because the court will impose the terms that it believes the two of you otherwise mutually understood to be the agreement, which would still be the written contract. But the fact that you renewed, but not in writing, does muddy the water. There is not a black and white answer, but I think the court will still look to the contract provisions to see what it thinks the agreed upon terms are.
Forfeiture of the deposit will depend on the terms of the contract - again - and most terms state that the landlord can keep the deposit for money that the tenant owes him. If the landlord thinks you owe him money, then he has that deposit and he can keep it if he wants. If you don't agree with what he does with your deposit, then you will have to sue him.
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