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Who can I go to when dealing with a landlord that will not…

Who can I go to...
Who can I go to when dealing with a landlord that will not respond to calls or emails regarding service requests that are safety hazards?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
5/16/2018
RealEstateAnswer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,902
Experience: 10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

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Good morning. What is the issue?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Who can I go to when dealing with a landlord that will not respond to calls or emails regarding service requests that are safety hazards?^ My question

First, you can call the city/county and ask them to come out and inspect this. If there is a safety or code violation, the landlord can be cited. Moreover, if the rental is not habitable, you may have to vacate and could sue the landlord for damages suffered and costs incurred.

The landlord must keep your place and the common areas in good repair at all times. This means that the unit must not substantially lack the following:

  1. Effective waterproofing and weather protection;
  2. A proper and functioning plumbing system;
  3. A water supply, under the control of the tenant, that is capable of producing hot and cold running water, furnished with appropriate fixtures (such as faucets and knobs), and connected to a proper sewage system. Also, as far as the landlord can control this, the water supply must be maintained in good working order and provide safe drinking water;
  4. Adequate heating facilities;
  5. Electrical lighting and wiring;
  6. Smoke detectors installed and working when you move in. Tenants must test the detectors every 6 months, replace batteries when needed, and give the landlord written notice if the detectors are broken;
  7. Safety from fire hazards;
  8. Appliances and facilities (air conditioning, ventilating) in working order if they are provided by the landlord;
  9. Working keys, locks, and window latches;
  10. No garbage, rodents, or vermin in your place when you move in or in common areas around the building throughout the tenancy;
  11. Garbage containers and garbage service, unless you agree otherwise in writing or unless there is a local ordinance that doesn’t require this;
  12. Adequate plumbing, heating, and electrical equipment kept in good working order;
  13. Walls, floors, ceilings, stairways, and railings in good repair;
  14. The place must be clean and in good repair when you move in; and
  15. The areas under the control of the landlord must be safe for normal and expected use.

You can sue a landlord for a court order to force repairs. If you have given the landlord notice of the need for repair and if the problem was not caused by you or someone else (besides the landlord), you may sue the landlord for damages to compensate you for reduced rental value and destroyed property. However, you cannot get an order for repairs in small claims court. When you sue the landlord for money, be sure to ask for all the money that you think you should get. You may sue for money because the landlord failed to make repairs, and because your landlord damaged or destroyed your clothing or furniture.

Now, if the fix can be done for less than $300, you can also consider repairing and deducting from the rent.

If you decide to repair and deduct, you must follow these rules:

You must notify the landlord in writing of the need for the repair and that if the landlord does not make the repair within at least 7 days (or 10 days if mailing the notice) you will have the repair made and deduct the cost from your rent.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Does mildewed carpets and bird infestations in the vents and attic apply to the following things listed? Those are issues I could contact the city and county about?

Yes, you could report it. Mildew could turn into mold and it is a health issue, so that need to be remedied and birds in the vents, they could look into as well. There is nothing wrong with reporting it.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Do you happen to know which department of the county I should contact regarding these issues? Also, are birds residing in the ventilation of the house also a potential health issue?

I would have concerns about the birds and feces. As far as the department, it is always best to start with calling the county/city where the rental is located and ask them and they can connect you to the proper department

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You are welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Possibly, the issues I have now more pertain to actual advice. But If you are aloud 7 days to amend anything wrong with a rental place once you move in and the mildewed carpet was listed on the revised move in report. Would I somehow be held responsible for it?
No you should not as you informed them of this and they failed to act and get rid of it so if it got worse as a result and this was documented when you first moved in, you would have a defense and basis to not be liable.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Okay, what if I had started that I had tried to fix it by cleaning it before telling them. I thought it would be an easy fix before bothering them and now they're trying to say it was due to me cleaning it. Despite it being listed on the move in report.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
In addition to me cleaning it, they had a carpet cleaner come in and clean it within 24 hours after I tried and it didn't work after both times.
Your attempts to clean it would not get you since you placed them on notice and they failed
To act. You would not be expected to live with it and there is no harm in trying to clean it. If it was there and documented when you moved in and they failed to remove and clean it they can not hold you liable.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
What are some options for me as they sent me notice in the mail stating that they will not take further action on the matter and it is the end of discussion on the matter. They do not return emails or phone calls and they do not have a physical address that I can contact them in person
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
They said the residue in the carpet was my fault for cleaning it and did not mention mildew once in the letter.
If they are failing to make necessary repairs and cure any health issues you have a basis to break the lease and vacate.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Without paying lease termination fees? They will not even email or call me back regarding other issues with the house. What if they still won't reply and refuse to give our deposit back? We have only lived there a month
You need to sue. That is the remedy if they are in breach and fail to cure and return any money owed. You need to show and support they failed to provide a habitable rental and cure these issues
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Small claims?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
How would I begin to form a case? And what would I be responsible to pay for it I lose?
As long as your claim does not exceed the limit you can. You would need to vacate and sue them and the clerk of court should have the forms. If you lose you may be liable for breaking the lease and their attorney fees.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
If I pay out of pocket to fix the carpet myself and stick out the lease, could I still sue if they try and keep my deposit for the carpet or other issues that were stated on the move in report?

Yes. When you vacate, you would need to leave the rental in the same condition as when you took possession of it, less normal wear and tear. If you spend the money to fix this and there is no basis to impose a claim, your deposit needs to be returned.

You are welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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