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legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10258
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I have a problem with my house. ceiling falling in, leaky

Customer Question

I have a problem with my house. ceiling falling in, leaky roof, bad electric outlets, and mold on everything. I sent my landlord a certified letter asking him to fix the problems. Today he comes in and tells us he wants us out as soon as possible. Can He do this? Can I do anything to prevent eviction?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  legalgems replied 12 months ago.

Good Day!A few minutes please as I review your question so I can provide you with legal information. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 12 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this- that is upsetting, especially given the safety issues. What was the alleged basis for the requests? Is rent current?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
rent is current.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
requesting repairs for health and safety
Expert:  legalgems replied 12 months ago.

Yes, thank you for your patience as I researched this.

Every lease has an implied warranty of habilitability, and an implied warranty of quiet use and enjoyment.

Under the "implied warranty of habitability," the landlord is legally responsible for repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit's habitability; the landlord must repair substantial defects in the unit and ensure compliance with state and local building and health codes. The idea is that it is a safe living environment. However, the landlord is not responsible under the implied warranty of habitability for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets.
The implied covenant of quiet use and enjoyment means that the tenant is entitled to the peaceful use of the premises.

These are implied in every lease and cannot be waived.
Violation of these covenants/warranties constitute "constructive eviction".

Pugh v. Holmes, 486 Pa. 272, 405 A.2d 897 (1979)

The options for this breach is:

1. cancel the lease

2. repair and deduct

3. withhold rent (100% if it affects the entire unit, or proportionate)

If it is the LL that is requesting a tenant to move after exercising their rights, that is considered retaliatory eviction. The LL must evict via the legal process (ie notice, then court proceeding).

Otherwise, the LL is exposed to liability, including economic damages actually suffered by the tenant - ie moving costs, difference in rent price for comparable unit (keeping in mind the tenant has a duty to mitigate- i.e. not rent a very expensive place just to spite the LL).

It is a good idea to call city/county officials (ie housing inspector) to document (and possibly cite) the LL.

This discusses the eviction process but the tenant can challenge it if it is based on retaliation.

This is a tenant's guide that can come in handy just so one is aware of their rights.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I gave him notice that I was going to be withholding rent starting next month on the 15th. rent is due the 15th of every month. he came today to fix the minor stuff (leaky drain on the sink)and was screeming at us. I asked him to leave and he refused and said that we should be afraid for our lives and to get out asap. who do I talk to to take further action against him
Expert:  legalgems replied 12 months ago.

That would be a criminal issue- so a police report can be filed; trespass (if he remained beyond the authorized entry; for example, a person can allow someone in their home; then when they are asked to leave, if they don't, it becomes trespass) plus assault. One can also file for a restraining order which precludes that person from future contact so that rent and other issues would need to be arranged through a third party.

Expert:  legalgems replied 12 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.