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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2983
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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I rent a house and dont have a lease but keep all of my rent

Customer Question

i rent a house and dont have a lease but keep all of my rent recite. but when something goes wrong in the house and i call them they dont want to fix it or they have us fix it. and i am having a really hard time getting them to do anything in this house . i just ask them about buying the house like renting to own because they dont want to do anything with it and now they dont want to even answer my calls .but they want there rent on time every month. and i have never been late on my rent at all and i have been here 7 years.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
well what should i do
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
Since you don't have a written lease, you can't rely on any language in the lease to give you direction. If a tenant has an oral lease, the general rule is that the landlord is responsible for all major repairs and repairs necessary because of normal wear and tear. If the tenant caused the damage, the tenant may be responsible for repairing the damage. For example, it a tenant's child breaks a window, the tenant may have to repair it.
When repairs are needed, the tenant should tell the landlord what is wrong, in writing, and give the landlord a chance to make the repairs. If the tenant has trouble getting the landlord to make the repairs, there are several things the tenant can do
(1) Call the City Bureau of Codes Enforcement and request a housing code inspection.
(2) Terminate the lease and move out.
(3) Arrange to have the repairs made himself/herself by a reputable repair person and deduct the cost from the rent. (Warning -- this procedure can be dangerous if done without the landlord's agreement.
Recent new law in Pennsylvania now allows the tenant to stop paying some or all rent if the landlord does not make necessary repairs. A tenant who withholds rent when a landlord has failed to make necessary repairs may have a good defense it the landlord decides to sue for back rent or eviction, if s/he can prove that the house or apartment is worth only the smaller amount of rent. This new law is called "implied warranty of habitability" and gives tenants more rights than the old law did.
Pennsylvania law allows a tenant to make necessary repairs and deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent under certain circumstances. Under the old law, repair and deduct was allowed in only two situations:
(1) The landlord had promised to make repairs but repeatedly failed or neglected to do so.
(2) The repair was necessary to prevent further injury to the property.
The old repair and deduct remedy could result in eviction based on non-payment of rent. To avoid eviction for non-payment of rent, the tenant had to show that the landlord consented to the repair. The best protection for the tenant was to get a signed agreement from the landlord authorizing the tenant to make the repair. Then, when the repair was made, the tenant paid the balance of the rent with a copy of a receipt for the repairs. The cost of the repair had to be reasonable and receipts were absolutely necessary.
Under the new "implied warranty of habitability" law, the tenant's obligation to pay rent and the landlord's obligation to maintain habitable (safe, sanitary and fit) premises depend upon each other. If the landlord breaks his obligation to keep the premises in a reasonable fit condition, this may relieve the tenant from his obligation to pay part or all of his rent until the landlord makes all necessary repairs. The landlord must be given notice of defects and a reasonable opportunity to make repairs, but he does not have to promise to repair before the tenant withholds rent. The warranty of habitability is required by law in all leases (oral and written). The repair need not be necessary to prevent further in jury to the property to justify the use of the warranty; generally, substantial housing code violations are sufficient.
It is important that the tenant inform the landlord in writing of his/her intention to stop paying all or part of the rent if necessary repairs are not made in a reasonable amount of time. The tenant should keep a copy of the letter and copies of all receipts for repairs. If the landlord decides to sue the tenant for that portion of the rent which was withheld, the tenant will need these records as part of his/her defense.
Just remember, because you have a month to month oral lease, the landlord only has to give you thirty (30) days notice and can terminate the oral lease for any reason.
Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
when we moved in we put all new water pipes in because there was none in here and we had to put all new light in here because there was non and then it took us 5 year of telling them the roof was leaking in my sons room and the sealing was falling for them to put a roof on now that my father in law died and he was the one fixing everything . i cant get them to do anything and i dont have the money to move and they own a big company called lycoming supply . so it isnt like they dont have the money to fix it.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
If there is something that the landlord is obligated to fix, you need to give them written notice and keep a copy for your records. Again, if the landlord breaks his obligation to keep the premises in a reasonable fit condition, this may relieve you from your obligation to pay part or all of your rent until the landlord makes all necessary repairs. The repair need not be necessary to prevent further in jury to the property to justify the use of the warranty; generally, substantial housing code violations are sufficient. Also again, it is important that you inform the landlord in writing of your intention to stop paying all or part of the rent if necessary repairs are not made in a reasonable amount of time. I would guess if you start providing notice in writing and telling them you will withhold rent if repairs are not made, the landlord will start taking notice. It sounds like, you will need to be proactive in order to get this landlord to do anything.
Again, please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
I see you have reviewed my answer. Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
Is there anyway I can receive a positive rating?