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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 26322
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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I just moved into a leased home in Rancho Palos Verdes

Customer Question

I just moved into a leased home in Rancho Palos Verdes California and my landlord has been very unresponsive to our maintenance needs. In particular she has not in a prompt and professional way fixed a serious gas leak and broken refrigerator among other things. This required me to spend about$500 to remedy these situation In general, the house was not properly prepare/in serviced for our rental. We have a long-term rental agreement at about $6000 a month and deserve better. We are up to date on all rental and security payments. We are retired couple do not want to spend the rest are life arguing with a cheap land lord who will not deal with our legitimate maintenance issues in an appropriate manner. how do we remedy this situation? Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 6 months ago.

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 6 months ago.

Good morning. I certainly understand what you are going through. Have you spoken with them about allow you to repair and deduct these things from the rent, if they do not want to get involved? At this time, is there anything else that needs to be addressed, which you have not taken care of and paid for on your own?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No, but they are very cheap and argue about every nickle to maintain luxury property which they own which make absolutely no sense to me.I t would seem that the owners would be happy that we would want to maintain there property.I want them to act responsibly and stop using unskilled inexpensive labor to solve legimate problems.As example I hired qualified Ge repairman to fix the refrigerator .It took him one hour--he added Freon among others thing.Her people screwed around with it for three days and couldn't solve the problem.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 6 months ago.

Thank you and please allow me a moment to repsond

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 6 months ago.

Your concern is legitimate. In a situation like this, after providing and placing the landlord on notice, as to the necessary repairs and their failure to act, you could consider repairing and deducting from the rent. The "repair and deduct" remedy allows a tenant to deduct money from the rent, up to the amount of one month's rent, to pay for repair of defects in the rental unit. This remedy covers substandard conditions that affect the tenant's health and safety, and that substantially breach the implied warranty of habitability.

As a practical matter, the repair and deduct remedy allows a tenant to make needed repairs of serious conditions without filing a lawsuit against the landlord.

The basic requirements and steps for using the repair and deduct remedy are as follows:

  1. 1. The defects must be serious and directly related to the tenant's health and safety.
  2. 2. The repairs cannot cost more than one month's rent.
  3. 3. The tenant cannot use the repair and deduct remedy more than twice in any 12-month period.
  4. 4. The tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets must not have caused the defects that require repair.
  5. 5. The tenant must inform the landlord, either orally or in writing, of the repairs that are needed.
  6. 6. The tenant must give the landlord a reasonable period of time to make the needed repairs.
  • What is a reasonable period of time? This depends on the defects and the types of repairs that are needed. The law usually considers 30 days to be reasonable, but a shorter period may be considered reasonable, depending on the situation.
  1. 7. If the landlord doesn't make the repairs within a reasonable period of time, the tenant may either make the repairs or hire someone to do them. The tenant may then deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent when it is due. The tenant should keep all receipts for the repairs.
  • It's a good idea, but not a legal requirement, for the tenant to give the landlord a written notice that explains why the tenant hasn't paid the full amount of the rent. The tenant should keep a copy of this notice.

Risks: The defects may not be serious enough to justify using the repair and deduct remedy. In that event, the landlord can sue the tenant to recover the money deducted from the rent, or can file an eviction action based on the nonpayment of rent. If the tenant deducted money for repairs not covered by the remedy, or didn't give the landlord proper advance notice or a reasonable time to make repairs, the court can order the tenant to pay the full rent even though the tenant paid for the repairs, or can order that the eviction proceed.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We got cut-off, please call me back:(###) ###-####Call me now
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 6 months ago.

Did someone call you on the phone to answer your question or was this from customer service?

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 6 months ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!