How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Loren Your Own Question
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33098
Experience:  Attorney with 30 years of experience representing landlords and tenants.
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Loren is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a tenant in a duplex in the Mt. Airy section of

Customer Question

Good afternoon, I am a tenant in a duplex in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. I have been a tenant at this property for two years. I have NEVER been late with my rent if anything I am usually early. We tend to have a problem with leakage in the basement. After telling my landlord a number of times by letter and text, even showing him pictures of the problem. I had to even contact the city it's when they came out he put a band aid on the problem. Now I hear the water in the wall in the garage and the water is backing up in the basement from the drain and the outside drain is backed up as well. I believe it's coming from the bathroom and the shower. . A couple has moved in two weeks ago with two small children it's at this time with both showers and bathrooms being used that I've seen the back up in the basement and the back where the garage is located. Yes I have sent him pictures and called and text and he won't reply. What can I do???
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Pennsylvania.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Just the one time when every time I would shower there would be a puddle in the basement. I called L&I and they sent two inspectors out they in turn contacted him. That's when he had his person put a band aid on it. Nothing since.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: When I first moved in I was over run with roaches and mice, the person that was living upstairs at that time was having the same problem. We contacted him and he did nothing but sticky traps down when did nothing. Her and I worked together to finally get rid of them with no compensation from him.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs. Thank you for your patience as I review the question. I will post my response shortly.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Every tenancy carries with it the implied warranty of habitability and the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises in exchange for the rent.

If the landlord is refusing to make necessary repairs and it is interfering with the use and habitability of the leased premises then you can sue for breach. In the course of the suit you may be able to leverage an early termination with the return of all deposits.

A riskier way is to move out now and declare the lease terminated due to "constructive eviction". In other words, the action or inaction of the landlord has made the premises unhabitable and you are forced to move out.

You still have to sue and the risk is that the court finds the premises WAS habitable and you end up being liable for breach.

Make sure you have a written record of the damages and your request for repairs.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am on a month to month lease. It's very frustrating especially when you know you have been and will continue to be a good tenant.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Then you can sue for breach of the landlord's warranty of habitability. The landlord can not evict you for that because it would create exposure to liability for retaliatory eviction.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

Yes, you are right in feeling frustrated that you may have to resort to litigation to enforce your rights.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 months ago.

If you have no further questions please remember to rate my service (5 Stars) so that I am credited by JA for answering your question and also so that I may close the question.

There is no additional charge to you for a 5 star rating of my service.

Thank you!

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions