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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55717
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I have been living in an apartment since June 17th of this

Customer Question

I have been living in an apartment since June 17th of this year. Since before move in, I let the landlord know about several issues in the home. She stated that she would have them fixed. More issues arose after move in, she stated she would fix those, and now, it's October 5th, and the issues have not been assessed. Issues are: dining room window has a bullet hole in it, with shattered glass around it, one wrong move and it will fall. I have a child and several children over through the week (my nieces and nephew), along with the fact that this is the first floor. The tub bows and I felt as if I would fall through. Now, the water does not drain from the tub in a timely manner. When it does, it comes through the ceiling in the living room and into the walls. The front light has never worked, no changing of the bulb can happen because the wiring is messed up. The landlord said we could take down the wallpaper in the dining room, and bathrooms and paint - we did take down the wall paper. However, in the dining room, under the window that's letting all of my ac escape, there is either black mold or mildew. The landlord stated that there was pest control that comes out every month, it has come out once. There was a sexually explicit drawing in my sons closet, I asked for that to be covered up, 3 weeks later it was, but the maintenance technician slapped paint on it, the ac doesn't work, and hasn't for five days. I want to leave the apartment, sue for back rent and security deposit. I live in Northwest Georgia.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Good evening. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Yes, you have this recourse available to you. With every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of your rented premises. With all the issues you reference, including the mold, you are clearly not being afforded such enjoyment of your premises….and therefore the landlord is breaching the implied warranty of habitability. This puts the landlord in default. You should send the landlord a certified, return receipt requested letter notifying the landlord that you are terminating your lease due to this default effective as of a specified date. Demand that your security deposit be refunded in full and that you will be making a determination and providing notification shortly of any damages you have suffered as a result of the default, including reimbursement of a substantial portion of past rent paid because you were deprived of the full benefit of your rental bargain given all your problems.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay, I have a follow up question.
I cannot afford to just 'terminate my lease' and move to another location. Is there a way that I can actually let the landlord know that I am requesting all monies that were paid to them, including security deposit and rent to be returned to myself?
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for following up. Yes, send your landlord a letter by certified mail, list all the issues from inception, notifying that you will be terminating as of a specific date, and demand he refund your deposit, a substantial portion of your past rent, and moving expenses within a short specified period of time. If he fails to do so, file a suit against him in small claims court. You can do that without a lawyer. :)

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What if I give a move out date, she doesn't comply, the move out date comes, and I am left with no money to live. That's not going to work. My family and I will wind up homeless.
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

Then simply stay until you win your suit. The landlord cannot force you out without obtaining an eviction order from the court. And, if the landlord were to do that, you would appear at that haring and contest it and ask the court to award you the damages.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
then, I send a certified letter, asking for security deposit, money paid since move in, and moving expenses? What date should I give? One month or less? I don't feel safe living in the apartment but I've been there this long, so what's a month? Then I go to claims court?
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

I would give them no more than 30 days to terminate, but tell hem you want their agreement within 10 days. If they don't agree, I would go to small claims court after the 10 days.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do I have to let my landlord know that if they do not comply within 10 days of the certified letter that I am going to small claims court, or can I just take them?
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.

You can simply take them. You need not give them prior warning.