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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 rented a home and I had maintenance requests that were unanswered

Customer Question

I rented a home and I had maintenance requests that were unanswered for six months. The last couple months I was in the home I decided not to pay rent thinking this would urge them to do my repairs. They never did. They took me to court and we went before the judge. The judge ruled in my favor for the unpaid months because the company I had the lease agreement with had no right to rent the home because it was not in their name. My question is do I have any recourse on money for the two years that I lived there. They hiked my rent up numerous times, never answered maintenance requests, my water got shut off because it was supposed to be in their name, etc..this is in the state of Georgia.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't remember leaving my email. It is *****@******.***
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help.."My question is do I have any recourse on money for the two years that I lived there.".Did the things that you requested to be repaired affect the habitability of the property? For example, did the plumbing back up on you, or did the electricity not work in certain areas of the house, or was there no heat?.Does your lease state that the water was included in your rent?.Did you have to get the water put in your name and pay the bill?.Have you vacated the property due to the problems?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The upstairs air conditioner was broken for the six months including the microwave. I had to put the water into my name, which was extremely difficult, because I did not own the house. My contract stated that they were responsible to keep the service in their name and bill me for it. I moved out when my term of lease expired because of the issues I had with them over the years. My contract stated that within five days a walk-through would be done with a representative and myself present. That did not happen. Last week I threatened them with court in order to get my deposit back. They sent me a list of items that needed to be repaired which is totally untrue. For example, they said the house had to be cleaned. I had it professionally cleaned but they still deducted $350. The contract stated that I would be notified of what needed to be "fixed" and would have the opportunity to do whatever was on their list myself. They ignored me all month until I mentioned the word "court." My deposit is $1750.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Since the judge didn't make me pay the last three months because of a "bad" contract, don't you think he would toward me something for my troubles over the past two years?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They basically profited from my house that they shouldn't have profited from...
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 years ago.
Ok, thank you for that information. To be very honest, I don't think a judge would award you damages for the things that needed repair if they didn't directly affect the habitability of the dwelling. A landlord has a legal duty to provide a "habitable" dwelling that meets all minimum housing and code requirements. But a broken microwave and air conditioner wouldn't rise to the level of making the property uninhabitable. If they had promised to repair them and failed to do so, your recourse would have been to file suit under a breach of contract claim when they didn't repair in a reasonable time to force them to do so. But if you didn't take action for a couple years, I would opine that a judge would rule that the last few months rent would adequately compensate you for your inconvenience..As for the deposit, the landlord has a duty to return your deposit within one month of you vacating the dwelling and provide an itemized list of damages. If they are trying to charge for improper damages, then your recourse is to sue them in small claims court for breach of contract and force them to prove their damages. But if they don't have pictures of the dwelling prior to the tenancy beginning to show its condition, they will have a hard time proving that they are entitled to those damages. You can sue them for 3 times the deposit they have unlawfully retained and let the judge decide if this was valid or not..Let me know if you have further questions...thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You helped me out a lot I sure appreciate it!
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome. Glad to help any time...thanksBarrister

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