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I've been renting a town home in montgomery county since…

Customer Question
I've been renting a...

I've been renting a town home in montgomery county since Jan. To date it has over 10 housing code violations including no HVAC ( no heat no air). I called housing and he was cited for each infraction but has still not fixed anything. As the temperature drops the inspector will have to condem - what do I do!

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Montgomery county maryland

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Yes... the housing inspector had cited him for atleast 12 violations (possibly 14) none of which he's repaired to date. we are currently waiting for a court date

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/18/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 8 months ago
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34,389
Experience: Began practicing law in 1992
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Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 8 months ago

If you receive a notice or email regarding a phone call for an extra price that comes directly from the website and not from me and I have no control over the sending of the notice or email. I don't take part in the telephone program and only work through this format and under your facts this format should be sufficient.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 8 months ago

What are you waiting on a court date for?

Also, what would you realistically want to occur (other than him fix the problems)?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I want back my security deposit (2 months rent;$3600) and all monies I've paid in rent to date considering I found out throught this process that he's not licensed to rent in Montgomery county and has been cited on two times prior for similar repairs including not being licensed. I used REMAX to find the rental and no one checked for a license. I have had one problem after another; no heat no air, electrical does not work properly, windows don't close on top level etc... Myself and my 2 kids; one w/special needs have had to deal with hot temperatures the entire summer that drove us to stay with friends and family on several occassions. I'd like to move but I need my money back to do so
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
the inspector advised that if the temp drops below 65 consistently than she will have to condemn the property - I have no idea what will will do in that case
Real Estate Lawyer: Dwayne B., Attorney replied 8 months ago

You have a couple of different options:

You are allowed to withhold rent if the landlord fails to provide essential services such as water, heat, etc. I think it is also likely that a judge will also allow you to recover your security deposit unless there is some damage. This is different that normal where the landlord can deduct for cleaning, etc. I don't think the judge is going to allow the landlord to do that in this case.

You can also argue that the landlord's failure to correct problems is what is known as "constructive eviction". This means that the landlord actually breached the lease and therefore you can recover all damages associated with moving. However, in constructive eviction, you must send the landlord a list of problems and allow them a "reasonable time" to correct those problems. Since the notice letter is an essential part of the case and will actually be used as evidence in the case I suggest you retain a local attorney to send the letter. I am unaware of any forms on the internet which are correct. This is mainly because each situation is unique and the letters are usually drafted from scratch.

I didn't see any case law which allows a tenant to recover rents paid due to the landlord not being licensed. In most states the only way the failure to license comes into play is that the landlord can't sue the renter since they aren't engaged in a legal operation in the first place. However, if you are suing them for the return of your rent due to the problems then there is no reason you can't ask for your money back on this basis as well since you already are involved in a lawsuit anyway. You can sue in small claims court if the total amount of your damages is less than $5,000. If your damages are more than that then you must sue in one of the higher courts which are much more complicated. You can retain an attorney to represent you in any of the courts and you can recover your attorney's fees since this is a breach of contract case.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a 5 Star Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow-up questions in this thread. I want to be sure all of your questions are answered.

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