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Thelawman2, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 1575
Experience:  Attorney-at-Law
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The roof in the apartment I have been renting for 16 started

Customer Question

The roof in the apartment I have been renting for 16 started leaking. Both times the building manager has sent a handyman up to patch the roof, but it has not worked. I will be writing my landlord to have the the roof redone rather than ineffectively "patching" areas with suspected cracks. What are the landlord's legal obligations concerning maintenance?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. What state are you located in?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Camarillo, California
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ventura County
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. 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. This would include a leaking roof.

What you may want to do is write a letter to the landlord, and you keep a copy, notifying that if he does not properly fix the roof this time, then you will be forced to repair it yourself and deduct any repair costs from the rent.

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

  1. . The defects must be serious and directly related to the tenant's health and safety.158
  2. . The repairs cannot cost more than one month's rent.
  3. . The tenant cannot use the repair and deduct remedy more than twice in any 12-month period.
  4. . The tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets must not have caused the defects that require repair.
  5. . The tenant must inform the landlord, either orally or in writing, of the repairs that are needed.
  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
Expert:  Thelawman2 replied 11 months ago.

You could also threaten the landlord that you will move out because of the repeated failing to fix the issue. This might get the landlord to properly fix the issue without you having to actually foot the expenses on fixing the roof.