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What to Do If Your Landlord Won't Make Repairs to Property

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Tammy is a paralegal who enjoys offering tips and advice to others.

Serious repairs should not be ignored.

Serious repairs should not be ignored.

Holding a Landlord Accountable for Repairs

All too often, people cringe at the mention of the word landlord. In some cases, this predisposition of dread is well-deserved. While many landlords are responsible and caring individuals, there are many property owners who dodge their responsibilities of providing the legally-required duty of care to paying tenants.

Landlords choose to be in this position of responsibility, and regardless of the relationship with the tenant, they must abide by the law when it comes to repairing damages to property.

What to Do If A Landlord Won't Make Timely Repairs to Property

Here are some early steps you should take if your landlord is not rushing to make repairs.

  • Consult your lease. Your first step after noticing any damage or issues is to consult your lease for the proper procedures on how to proceed with a repair request. Follow the instructions to the letter in your lease. Learn whether or not your repair is covered by the terms of your lease.

    For example, if you damage the property by your own negligence, the landlord may not be responsible for the repairs. If your lease states that all requests for repairs must be handled in writing, make sure you send it. While this may seem like red tape, most states do not allow landlords to enter the property without a written request for services or a 24-hour notice in writing to the tenant that they plan to enter the property for any reason. It is always in your best interest to send requests in writing with the date of the request. Always keep a copy for your personal records.
  • Learn your local laws. You must have a firm understanding of the laws in your state. Almost every state has a law of habitable warranty that specifically outlines that any landlord has a duty to provide a tenant with a habitable home fit for occupation. Such state laws protect tenants from potential slum lords. State laws override written and verbal contracts and agreements.

    If the necessary repairs make the property uninhabitable, the law is on your side in most states, regardless of the terms of your lease or contract. Some states, such as Florida, give the tenant the right to withhold rent payments to a landlord if repairs go undone. In other states, it is illegal to withhold the rent. If you are not familiar with your state law on this issue, it is best to consult a legal professional in your state.
  • Send a certified letter. If you have taken the steps in the lease to get a problem repaired and the landlord has not acted, it is time to send the landlord an official (or second official) request for repair in writing. The second letter should be sent with a copy of the original request (if retained) and mailed by certified mail with a return receipt. This will give you a legal document proving that the request was made and received by the landlord. It is a criminal act for any landlord to attempt to evict you for requesting repairs to the property. If you suspect you have this type of callous landlord, it is imperative to communicate with them in writing in order to protect yourself.

Things to Consider Before Escalating the Situation

If your landlord is being very unhelpful, some rather drastic measures may need to be taken. Before that occurs, you should examine your situation to see if these measures are warranted.

  • There is a major habitability problem. The problem must be threatening to health or safety. A minor annoyance or defect does not mean you should take action against your landlord.
  • You didn't cause the damage. You would have no case if you or your guests caused the problem yourself.
  • You followed all the rules in notifying your landlord. You need to have told your landlord about the issue and given them a reasonable chance to fix it. Some states have laws for a minimum amount of notice if the problem is not an emergency.
  • You're not behind in rent. If you have any plans on withholding rent or deducting repair costs from your rent, you can't be behind on payments. Most areas that allow withholding rent require that you are caught up in payments.
  • You are willing to lose tenancy. Taking legal action against your landlord will probably not endear them to you. Most states have laws protecting tenants from retaliation, such as raising rent or eviction, but some states don't offer these protections. Know your laws and keep this in mind before doing anything.
A serious leak is a serious issue.

A serious leak is a serious issue.

Escalating a Case Against a Landlord

At this point, most landlords will acknowledge your request for repair. If the property owner still refuses to make the requested repairs or dismisses them, it is time to escalate your case. Here are some actions you can take.

  • Report to a building or health inspector. If your repair is urgent in nature and poses a health or safety risk for you and your family, you will want to take many photos and videos of the problem with timestamps. Take your photos, videos, and copies of your letters to your county or borough's inspection department. These offices are normally located within the Health and Human Services Division of your local Department of Social Services.

    For urgent problems that may lead to illness and injury, a county inspector will act quickly to inspect the damages. If it is determined that the necessary repairs are urgent, this agent will have the authority to force the landlord to make the repairs by a certain date or face significant legal punishment.
  • Withhold the rent. You can only do this if your state and local laws allow this, so do your research. Even if you are allowed to do this, you may need to place your rent money into an escrow account. This is to show that you are not trying to live at the property for free. Withholding rent where you are not allowed to do so could get you evicted and sued.
  • Repair the problem and deducting from rent. Known as a repair-and-deduct, this action is not allowed everywhere. Even if it is allowed, it is only for major habitability issues. This is where you would get repairs done with your own money and deduct the amount from your rent. This is obviously not the best course of action if the issue is very costly.
  • Moving out. This can be done either temporarily or permanently. In some states, a landlord must pay for temporary housing if there are court-mandated repairs being made. You may be able to break your lease with no repercussions if the landlord is unable to fix your problem.
  • Sue your landlord. You can file a lawsuit if the property has not met the standards of habitability. Most of these kinds of lawsuits look for rate abatement. This basically means being compensated for the difference between the rent paid and the real value of the rental unit. You can also sue if your property was damaged, such as your personal furniture from a leaking roof.

When Can I Report a Landlord to an Inspector?

Here are some potential reasons you can report your building or landlord to an inspector.

  • Pests: You can make a report to a health inspector if the property is infested with rats, roaches, or bed bugs.
  • Mold: Mold should be reported as it can cause breathing problems.
  • Lead: Older properties may have lead paint, which can pose health risks.
  • Lack of vital services: You can make a report if you don't have running water, electricity, or heat.
  • Plumbing: Tenants have the right to have working plumbing.
  • Buildup of garbage: You can report a landlord if waste is not being collected.
  • Structural problems: You can contact the health department if the building is not structurally sound and is a potential hazard.

What Is Landlord Retaliation?

This refers to any illegal activity that a landlord does following any reports made to the authorities. This can include raising the rent, refusing to renew a lease, filing an eviction lawsuit, or creating any petty inconveniences, such as draining a pool or cutting cable services.

You can take your landlord to court over retaliation. The good news is that many states have laws in place that assume retaliation if any such actions occur within a certain timeframe of reporting a landlord. Be sure to check your local and state laws.

Can a Landlord Make a Tenant Pay for Repairs?

Determining whether you or your landlord pays for repairs often depends on what is damaged and how the damage happened. You generally have to pay for repairs if you or your guests cause the damage.

Your landlord is also not obligated to fix or pay for repairs for any cosmetic damage that does not affect the habitability of the housing. In short, landlords are only obligated to make repairs on things like plumbing and heating or anything covered by the lease agreement that was not damaged by you.

A landlord can not be held accountable for natural disasters

A landlord can not be held accountable for natural disasters

Landlord Responsibility During a Natural Disaster

In the event of a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, or tornado, renters cannot hold the landlord accountable for the disaster. The tenant's rental insurance may cover the loss of personal items, but the landlord can not be held accountable for the loss of personal items.

When a natural disaster strikes and damages rental property, it is the landlord's responsibility to fix the property and make it habitable as soon as possible. The landlord is not responsible for providing alternate shelter and housing for tenants in this case. Renters have the option of purchasing rental insurance that provides temporary housing and provisions if this should occur.

However, in most states, if a natural disaster destroys a rental unit, the lease becomes void and non-enforceable. A landlord cannot force a tenant to stay in an unlivable rental property, and tenants can not be sued for leaving the property for a habitable property.

Infestation of Cockroaches, Bedbugs, and Rodents

If you sign a rental agreement for a property, it is important to understand beforehand whether or not the landlord will provide scheduled preventative treatment against insects and other pests. If there is no mention of this in your lease, it is reasonable to request this service before signing the contract. In some leases, the responsibility will be mandated to the tenant.

If you move into a home and notice cockroaches, insects, or mouse droppings, it is important to photograph this evidence. If the home is furnished, check the mattresses and furniture for evidence of bed bugs and notify the landlord immediately if anything is discovered.

If the infestation occurs later on, the fault falls on the tenant. In this case, a landlord may not be responsible for paying for an exterminator, and the tenant may be liable for the damage caused by the invading pests.

Repairs that jeopardize safety and security are urgent in nature.

Repairs that jeopardize safety and security are urgent in nature.

Illegal Acts of Landlords

Here are some actions that your landlord is legally prohibited from doing if you request some type of repair.

  • Evicting a tenant for requesting repairs or making an official complaint about conditions.
  • Entering the property without a 24-hour written notice unless service is requested.
  • Not revealing that an apartment is infested with cockroaches, bedbugs, or other creatures.
  • Interfering with tenant's right to quiet enjoyment of the property.
  • Seizing a tenant's property for non-payment of rent. This includes selling the tenant's property to collect unpaid rent and fees.
  • Providing an uninhabitable property.
  • Not notifying tenants a property is known to be haunted.
  • Changing locks on a property for non-payment of rent.
  • Turning off utilities to threaten or evict a tenant.
  • Attempting to evict a tenant without a court order.

Laws vary from state to state. Check with a lawyer if you are dealing with any of these activities.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Anon on August 18, 2020:

Apartment has a broken bathroom faucet. 3 work orders and several calls for the same thing and no one has answered or cared for 3 months this has been going on. And they won’t answer the phone when they’re in the office or open the doors because of Covid.

Josephine Obezo on August 13, 2020:

My moms apartment storage has a water leak from the water heater. I went to report it to manager and they said they put a work order. That was an hour ago and 10 minutes. Peoria Grand Apartments on Peoria Ave in Arizona

Kaylee lamadline on June 22, 2020:

Hello I was wondering if anyone could tell me what to do l, ok so I live in a apartment and I'm not on the lease, the people that are on the lease are not home and out of state,our toilet is broke and we contacted the landlord and they are not fixing the problem bc we are not on the lease. So there for we do not have a working toilet, and it's been about 2 weeks now. IDK what to do

Kaylee mcgraw on June 22, 2020:

Hello I was wondering if anyone could tell me what to do l, ok so I live in a apartment and I'm not on the lease, the people that are on the lease are not home and out of state,our toilet is broke and we contacted the landlord and they are not fixing the problem bc we are not on the lease. So there for we do not have a working toilet, and it's been about 2 weeks now. IDK what to do

Sherry on June 12, 2020:

I haven't had water for 2 weeks. My landlord won't fix water leak causing my water to be turned off. He hasn't even looked at the problem. Which is water coming up threw my bathroom floor. And hasn't gotten me any thing for the rat problem here.

James NA Henderson on April 22, 2020:

My landlord is going to get his

Conah Lee Edwards on December 18, 2019:

I am renting an apartment and have maintenance issues and have addressed it multiple times with the landlord and manager and they have yet to even work on our maintenance issues

marie on November 11, 2019:

main water pipe busted in the front property the landlord refused to fix the problem so the water pump broke and then the basement flooded and two electronic has got ruined who do I take to court now that she sold the property?

Kristy on October 29, 2019:

I moved in with a friend that I've known for years with my seven-year-old son she was on the lease with her boyfriend we went to the landlord and ask permission for me to stay he said I could stay if we paid the rent she two days later went over with my half and her half together and gave it to him now he's trying to deny that he let me stay here and gave me permission in that I paid anyting my roommate got in an argument with me and moved out early taking the keys ripping them from my hands making me bleed assaulting me and trying to have me arrested by the landlord my ex tenant and the landlord are working together and have both lied to police saying that I am trespassing I was almost arrested by the landlord and one police officer thank God the another police officer a sergeant came on scene and call the prosecutor the prosecutor let them know quickly that they could not legally illegally evict my seven-year-old son and I without the proper channels they were very upset and left leaving me with no keys and would not refusing to give them back the landlord said if he acknowledges and gives me the keys that I'm living there then I'll never leave so get out he said and now it's 2 in the morning and my seven-year-old son and I November 1st a freezing he shut the hot water and the heat off what do I do I asked him if I could have a little more time after explaining to him that he is aware that I am aware and not a stupid person that he did not serve me he will not acknowledge my name he will not acknowledge that I paid him and he is telling the police and everyone that I am trespassing and to get out cuz he doesn't want me to rent their I'm not a good person and I need to leave and I want to sue him and I want to stay there was also lead paint in the house I just found that out maybe that's why he didn't want me to see or sign the lease this harassment by the landlord in the manager and the police department has to stop I don't know what I'm going to do but I am feeling very scared and helpless I have nowhere to go it is November I have a seven-year-old son and he is lying and saying I'm trespassing I want to see him being told from a judge that he is absolutely wrong and has to legally evict me whether he wants to admit that I paid rent or not I have been here for three months and am a resident I also called him and told him there was no heat he said too bad maybe they finally shut it off baby you should get out like get out now I don't really care what your problem is I don't want to be your landlord and you need to get out does he have to legally serve me papers he himself Drew up papers for my ex-roommate and she did not want to go through the legal real court process she was able to find a rum to rent from a friend I am having a very hard time trying to find a place with my seven-year-old son in Exeter after all from the police presents police presence my ex landlord also when she assaulted me did not get arrested I am still waiting for the police Sergeant to approve the assault charge if they don't soon what else can I do I am being absolutely harassed discriminated against and my son is afraid for his safety and is constantly nervous I fear that my ex-roommate will come back and assault me again there is no protection from anyone to help us the police are on my landlord and ex-roommate side and I'm wondering if he just wants to ignore that I am a tenant and I paid can he lie in court about me paying and why if I've been here for three months have I not been kicked out previously only until she left early now he wants me out and I'm a trespasser does he have to go through the court process with me also even though I am not on the lease and she already left it is November I have a seven-year-old the heat is off I have the change the locks will not give me a key and told me he does not care will not give me any more time and to get out I also recently found out that I may have not been showing the lease because there is lead paint everywhere in this old home there is so many repairs to be done I haven't even started yet to let him know what the big problems are after I found out that my roommate lied and was already being evicted from him

becky on October 26, 2019:

my son rents a garage with no bath room or kitchen its just a garage the door isn't working he had to pay once to get it fixed but its old and the landlord refuses to fix it.. this is a safetly issue for him what can he do they already asked him to pay rent for nov two weeks early . he has never been late but is worried about his property and safety

C M on October 23, 2019:

I rent a lot and my landlord used it to move a trailer in next door and ripped up and put huge ruts an tire tracks all on my yard. Does he have to pay for it to be fixed?

julia dixon on August 12, 2019:

a water heater blew and. caught house on fire is the owner liable for not maintaining

GravelAlice on August 01, 2019:

Housing inspector has been here he was given 30 days to fix my apartment he has not started any repairs he is trying to evict me because he's having a little later Sumter housing authority

Shannon Brown on June 20, 2019:

Pap's is messed up and had water at our apartment for 16 days in Alabama what do we do

A tenant... on April 08, 2019:

I live in a trailor court and when we moved in we have had water pipe problems...Our tub would and toilet will over flow ...Now its gotten worse,that when we put our washer on to wash clothes our toilet and tub fills up and toilet will start over flowing...We have checked our pipes and its not ours...We have told the landloard but she keeps saying it our pipes...What should we do?

Michael on August 22, 2018:

The place I am currently renting in Hawaii, have a major termite infection you could see the termites eating through the wood, and you also see the droppings. The other tenants and I have told him about the problem and he still haven't came up with a solution to fix. Terminix told him he needs to tent the property and still haven't done any of that. The roof in not even a roof it is a piece of sheet metal that covers it. I really don't think this land lord can keep renting to tenants in these livable conditions.

AmyAnn on July 20, 2018:

AC outside my window making horrible noise. Prop. Mgmt. Refuses to even address situation , tells me AC is fine. Is it legal for me to pay an outside company to find and document the problem so i can present the info to the manager? Its cheaper for me than breaking a lease.

Linda Cygan on July 14, 2018:

My landlord is taking forever to fix home after storm.Of course,when it was 1st of month,he said we could go back,when no repairs were done.It was usafe

Karen morrison on July 07, 2018:

Landlord is evicting me for non payment of 2mos, but won't provide proof thereof. What can I do

Steven from New Mexico on July 04, 2018:

Landlord has had me living in her house for the past almost 5 years in October with a hole in the roof leaking causing trouble damage and mold to a room and the ceiling in that room Also a leaking water heater which is causing dry wall damage and black mold. And also had an agreement for me to pay her back taxes equal over $3000 they were about to take her house from her and that was the only way to stay living in the house in arrangement for me to buy the house. later a couple years she had back taxes owed once again and I had to pay another 1700 plus In agreement that I would buy the house for a $128000 starting the process in July of 2018. As of July 2018 the landlord came by on the 1st demanding a check written to her on the spot when one was already sent in the mail I wrote her 1 for $1000 for that month's rent and asked her about starting the process for buying the house. On July 3rd 2018 the landlord left a eviction notice on the door at 10:00 pm with out notifying myself stating I had to evacuate the house in 30 days because she no longer wanted to live in Colorado and wanted to live at her house from that point on thus not allowing me to purchase the house and losing out on all the money I have paid in her back taxes

Wonder on June 29, 2018:

I live in Texas. The owner keeps making "repairs" but they are never done completely or properly. The ground underneath the building I am in keeps shifting and is causing problems such as cracks in the walls and other issues. They have come and filled in the cracks and painted but the building has shifted again and the cracks are back. When I moved in the apartment was already in need of many repairs and have only gotten worse over the years. The new owners want to say I damaged these but I did not. They are frustrated with me because I keep asking them to make needed repairs.

Kerry mitchell on June 16, 2018:

We live in our own trailer at a mobile home park. I pay lot rent here we are constantly having our water shut off for half days almost 3 or 4 days a week. The pipes in the park are old and leak and break now we have a massive hole in our back yard and under the trailer it's been 2 days and still no one here to fix it. Do they have to pay to relevel my trailer and clean up any mold it might create?

Shelia on June 05, 2018:

My landlord made up a contract for to pay for allbrepairs and I'm on section8!!! When I at the contract I riped it because I don't think I should be responsible for all repairs!!! I need some advice

Jennifer holt on May 26, 2018:

I have been living in the same condo for 4 years there has been a leak in my daughter's bedroom for probably that long I found out about it about two and a half years ago and told the landlord she has done nothing. I told her again in December, still nothing I told her again or 3 weeks ago and told her I was going to sue her. Now things have definitely gotten out of control I believe that she took my accordian with my lease and all my receipts in it she also was trying to get the company that was hired to close the wall up where the mold was before the leak was repaired.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on May 13, 2018:

I would start with your local health department. If it is a wiring issue that may cause a fire or other harm to you, they can force him to take action on your much needed repairs!

Gina M on May 12, 2018:

If a landlord gives his tenant an eviction notice cause their property is being condemned, do they have to give you your rent back from the 1st of the month cause they gave you the notice 7 days before you have 2 get out? Do they have 2 help find u a place or help w the cost 2 put ur family in a hotel or something? It's their fault for not keeping up w their units.

Carrie Gray on May 05, 2018:

I rent from a independent rental guy I have told him that the roof leaks over my stove when it rains we have put plastic up to try to stem the flow but hasn't helped much landlord came out said he fixed it but the next hard rain came thru and it's still leaking the wiring is the old aluminum wire and we have been smelling alot of burning smells the sewer pipe it's hooked up to the toilet in our front bathroom it just runs on the ground told the landlord's maintenance guy about all this said he would let the landlord know I have only seen the landlord twice in over a year the roof has been leaking about that long and it has mold growing above where I cook a the sheetrock is crumbling and prices fall onto my stove and in my food that I have to feed my children I don't have the money to relocate and I just got a message from the landlord that said I need to either pay rent or move by the 11th What should I do? Fell like the world is against me

Kim on May 03, 2018:

Moved into my wst apartment and have had constant problems by mostly iv noticed a hissing sound from my air unit in my living room, shortly after that i have become rilly sick and not knowing why. Then all the sudden my air has quit working and it stays 90° cus im upstairs. I have asked them/ reminded them for the past 3-4 months it hasn't been working and it's becoming unlivable and still no-one has come to fix it and I have no idea what to do.. it's a low income based upstairs and come to realize I haven't been sick cents the air quit. So she told me I need a freon recharge? And I put pieces together to realize I have a freon leak and I'm constantly breathing it getting sick what should I do. Can't get any help. No money to move, nowhere to go..

Lisa on April 16, 2018:

I live in a Apartment nothing gets fixed and just bandaged. I been without heat since February 2018 but I had problems since I moved in not much hot water toilets not working and when I moved wasn't not informed of cockroaches and bed bugs and the manager doesnt informed new tenants that is so wrong that should too all tenants moving in. They have three different hotels and only one maintenance worker. Like I said I have go to my neighbor too stay warm they don't care fix anything but we all pay rent and it's a low income and disabled and elderly hotel. The manager doesnt fix things because most of the tenants scared of the Manager to make complaints I need too no what actions I need to take on this big slum lord

Michele Delatore on March 18, 2018:


I live in a apartment ,and i work taking care of the grass and his animals ,and my landlord treats me really bad,i have a writem note stating that I take care of animals in the lawn for my rent I have a bathroom ceiling leak and it's got mold on my walls I try to clean it up I've told the landlord several times about it I live in Florida my landlord don't even let me have a parking space for my friends come and visit me treats me like I'm just some nobody I don't have the money to move what can I do for this

samantha on January 08, 2018:

i have a few issues..we moved into a trailer at the beginning of the year, we lived on the property in campers and had the opertunity to move into a trailer so we took at the time there wasnt a problem until one night the front bedroom started leaking..i informed my mom and she informed the landlord he said he would fix it or have some one fix it..that was almost 8 months or so..the ac went out during the summer that hasnt been fixed yet, at the end of november i had a baby so when we brought her home my other half and i switched bedrooms with my mom cuz her room was bigger well i come into get everything situated to bring her in and the roof is leaking i unfortuantly am i afraid to bring it to his attention cuz im afraid he will either lie to me and say yeah i'll fix or say you did it on purpose and you fix he isnt the greatest landlord my fear is that he'll realize i said or did something when some one comes out to check these trailers..what do i do or do i get ahold over this? sorry for the long list of issues but im mad

Mikeee on January 02, 2018:

Be careful with landlords and depreciation. As the house ages and wears the item (aircon, wall, sink so on) looses value quickly until its value is $0. That being said what a landlord can claim in tax or if there sneaky and blame you, the tribunal, is next to nothing. (which make scenes! cant get brand new aircon to replace 20 year old one at others expense) So what will usually happen is the owner of the property will scare you with keeping more then the bond, or expensive repairs. They will make more money scamming for repair costs then they would through tax for depreciation, especially with older homes. Only communicate with the agent or land lord by writing (emails text) be aware a lot of land lords are tax bludgers and try an make a living by claiming all sorts of hand outs. Be respectful and look after the place as if it was yours. Take photos and document everything.

Good luck

Jennifer on December 22, 2017:

Hi, I live in a triplex in Oregon. I've lived here for 8 years. We moved in due to family expansion and needed a bigger place. About after a month of getting locked in my bathroom due to a broken door I called the owners to let them know that we needed it fixed. She argued with me telling me that fixing the door would be costly. Finally 6 months later she replaced it. When me and my husband got married we came home to a flooded kitchen. PIPE BROKE! We were with out kitchen water for a month and washed dishes in the bathroom. We have mold due to a broken window and leaking roof. Window kinda got fixed, roof completely fixed but drywall and wood not replaced. I've had a broken refrigerator in my kitchen for 8 months. Faulty electrical wiring that shorts out or almost catches fire. Help me

Sabrina on November 12, 2017:

Me and my boyfriend have moved into the Cabo San Lucas apartments and when we first got there we noticed a big bubble in the master closet. We told them once we got there and all they did was put this pre mixed concrete mix. And it just made the bulge bigger. Well three weeks ago it was raining hard and I went into the closet to get some clothes. And I had noticed my clothes around the big bulge in the closet were wet. So the next day on Monday I had called to report it and all they did was give me the nova asset management number. I called and they said they made a report and that the apartment can only fix it once they receive that report. Me and my boyfriend constantly go and remind them that it needs to get fixed and that it keeps leaking. Well a few days ago my boyfriend had gone to tell the supervisor and the supervisor had told him he’s not going to fix it, he doesn’t need to spend his money on it and what not. Thursday a guy from nova had came and asked about the problem and I had told him what the supervisor had told my boyfriend. He was upset and took notes about what he said and what he looked like and how long I’ve been reporting this. Now at this point my closet is half way moldy and I constantly have to change the bucket we have about 4/5 times it’s changed in a day.

Imonaise on November 03, 2017:

I leave in orlando Landon pointe apartment it's been like amounts my house been floored I loss all my furniture my clothes my baby's glosses either in they don't wanna fix anything at all so please I would like to know if I can find some one to help me please

Linda Nelson on October 08, 2017:

I rent a trailer and the landlord never fix anything when i ask her the roof was leafing and she didn't fix and a storm can and i loss all my clothes and shoes and other things because she didn't do her job who support to pay for my stuff

Anita Enriquez on June 04, 2017:

I moved in to apartment complex and I been having problems with some kind of bugs that is bitting me and that's is getting on my clothing and other thing. I let the manager know what's going on and I he said they would do it and its been 2 months an nothing has been done yet, I can't sleep with out the light because I start ishying and I had to pay clothes and I had to throw some of my clothing and I can't even buy any furniture because of what is in my apartment. So is any thing I can do because I can't do this any more I am so tried of all this I even painted the apartment with my own money and alone when I moved in it looked clean put with I started to clean and it was so nasty I even took pictures and videoing everything in the apartment and there's something in the apartment, so is there anything I can do i am on housing and I am on disability. So can you help me please because I can't live like this anymore I can't sleep or eat and enjoy my life because I am stressing so much

Billi-Jo on May 31, 2017:

I live in an apartment complex in Pennsylvania and the front door is to be secure locked door from the outside, the door is and has been broken for over a year. Anyone comes up to the door and just pulls it open . My husband and I have notified the property manager many times and still nothing can we break our lease due to this safety issue

NF on May 06, 2017:

I have section 8 and have had it for 17 yrs. I am a model section 8 tenant. I do not move around a lot, I pay my share, if Im working my part goes up and if I don't it goes down, either way I pay my share on time. I have had 3 different apt in 17 yrs, first one the wife died and he sold the house and they wanted family to move in, the second one the land lord sold the building and he wanted to renovate all apts and I moved, now I'm in the 3rd one for 6 yrs now and quite frankly I don't really have a problem with the land lord, but if it is by law she fixes it. My problem is my windows and my door is sooooo very drafty and I pay my own heat and I really lose all my heat, I bought curtains heavy duty ones to put by the windows so that it may help and still, it may have helped some but nothing major. I really dont like to bother the land lord, but now the strings have broken on the windows and u can see its from wear and tear, my apt is the last one with these old fashioned windows and now its difficult to open them. I have to put a jar or something underneath it so they stay up. Will section 8 make me move, if she refuses to repair the windows or will they make her repair the windows. Desperate in New jersey. Plus I have a dog and I dont want to be hasty and make it difficult because I want to keep my dog, who is on the lease

Crys on April 12, 2017:

My landlord said he'd be back after the Thanksgiving and Xmas holidays to fix the floor that's falling in...however he's fixed a neighbours minimal flooring issue and not ours. He's hassled my mother ever since we moved in to go on dates with her and take him out to lunch ect. He's married first off and so is my mother(currently in divorce proceedings) but since she's refused he's now going back on all of his word-of-mouth promises. My wife is deploying for a year this Friday. I've my 82 year old grandmother loving here too since last Oct. And she isn't able toove around a majority of the house as the floor is that bad. Keeps getting worse. I didn't get anything in writing, live in Missouri, and so seems my options could be pretty limited. Now he texted me tonight saying we should have mowed the damn yard, it's trashy ect. When he let us use his mower full well knowing we didn't have one. I think it's retaliation die to not going on dates with my mother. He's wanting 50 dollars to mow the yard now plus full rent this mont of 650. It's becoming a nightmare and similar to a lifetime movie, according to my mother. Idk. But I do know I need help with legal matters. I'm a biomedoal scientist (jus graduated, or would be owning a home otherwise) and have no legal experience whatsoever. Any advice is welcome.

Carolyn crneck on December 10, 2016:

We are living in a rental unit upon moving in noticed scratching in wall in bathroom, could smell poo.. Fast forward 3 years, we have rodents coming in via kitchen and running under fridge + stove, then underneath couch in livingroom. Tons of feces & urine under couches& cushions. Landlord will not repair / seal the entry were the vermin is coming in. I noticed caulking in corner of kitchen bet cupboard and linoleum. Landlord threatened eviction , will not get exterminator to apt. I do not feel safe in this apt. Rodents are coming in bedroom, saw one at foot of bed and heard scatching in back of couch in bedroom whilst sitting watching TV. Our flusher on toilette was busted because it is made of plastic, landlord repaired plastic lever and used old lever to plug up entry where rodents were coming in!!!!! This did not work as rodents have multiple points of entry in this unit, ie loose baseboards around radiators, underneath kitchen sink where pipe is , seal has big holes around pipe, the weather stripping on front door has a 3 inch circumference hole in it. I have seen 3 rodents enter through hole. Residential tenancy board takes 1 month for a hearing upon receiving application for dispute resolution. This landlord is rude regularly, I called VIHI Enviromental health inspector , he called the landlord + wanted to talk with property owner, but did not get a return call.. on October 13, 2016:

Ok so I've been renting a house with option to buy and I moved in November 1st 2015. The house is built around/inter grated into a trailer. The foundation is by no means stable, the floors are weak and in the bathroom as well but with tile were you could cut your feet. Most of the doors don't close properly, they have to be lifted to close. The septic tank doesn't drain and I have to take a water pump and drain it myself twice a week. I can see light through some doors and additions made to the house. I went into the addic and the wiring is just twisted together laying on a tin roof with no insolation, not to mention my sons room is wired in the addic with what looks like speaker wire. My a/c doesn't work properly. I've verbally told the landlords, with no repairs done. I have hired people to fix some issues like the ac witch still isn't fixed and the well pump. Which caused me to fall a month behind on rent which I plan on catching up as well as paying my rent on time. Which other than falling behind a month because of money spent to make some repairs I have been on time. Now they are giving me a 3 day notice. Mind you this isn't all that's wrong with the house/property or the way the landlord harassed us. Any information would help, if any attorneys could do pro bono to help me resolve my problems it'd be like hitting the lottery. I want to buy this place after my lease is up, however I think they would get worse if I force their hands or just not allow me to purchase the property when the contract is up. If you could email me or reply on here. I really need help. I'm a 80% disabled vet with a fixed income and this is extremely stressful. Thank you very much

shanisha on August 14, 2016:

hello i am looking for some advice me and my family live in Indiana currently we have been living here for almost 3 years the first week we moved in there was a really bad rain the basement flooded and there was feces from the sewer in our basement when we asked the landlord she said that it had never flooded like it did that night she said the occasional puddle that she could sweep in a drain she came over and cleaned up the basement we were grateful. since we have been here the sewer has flooded at least 6 times rain water seeps in through the walls every time it rain there is water in the basement. she never made it apparent to us that we are on flood grounds we figured that out on our own. now we are on a month to month we don't know what to do please help oh did i mention our sons room is in the basement we have lost s much already. its not fair to dread every time it rains what the basement will look like in the end what should we do

Christy on July 21, 2016:

Just posted in reference to furniture. Live in NC. No rental agreement. Lease etc.

Christy on July 21, 2016:

Hello. Advice needed on laws. Was renting a room from some friends. They left town and allowed me to stay. Was informed a month and a half ago the house was being sold and when I needed to be out. Was told I could have all furniture in home. Now we have had a disagreement over other things. Am I still entitled to furniture?

Mary Jo Matey on April 15, 2015:

My home is surrounded by MUD .. no gravel in driveway ,, I have slipped and fallen .. in this pigpen area.. I like a nice clean home and this is now becoming un bearable ... I am on a month to month lease after a one years lease .. A new month to month was never made up ... I am in NC .. what are my rights

I have asked twice for gravel and he said he'll address it asap twice and nothing ... I have a money order for the rent total for April .. but have not mailed it due to this situation

he does nothing that I ask ...

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 25, 2014:

Hi Melissa,

Those time limits would be set by your state. Your local Health Department can tell you the amount of time the landlord has to comply. For anything falling under uninhabitable conditions like electrical issues, the landlord must fix those immediately!

Robert on January 24, 2014:

My apartment is so cold that I can't stay there,and this is with the heat on,its so cold that I have to sleep fully dressed.

melissa on January 23, 2014:

how long after sending a certified letter to landlord for repairs, do they have to fix these issues? What is the usual time frame--I live in York Co., PA. There are many electrical issues, chimney falling apart, radon issues, and the basement walls are crumbling and the stones are coming out so you can see light from the outside.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on March 24, 2013:

Wow AudraLeigh. Many landlords don't have a sense of urgency when it comes to fixing problems. In a case like this, you can complete these repairs and bill the landlord for labor and supplies. That may make him take your complaints seriously. Thanks for reading!

AudraLeigh on March 21, 2013:

My boyfriend and I live ...Lease an apartment in a house. I moved in after his old roomie moved out. Landlord is never around or available. So...we Bought parts for broken toilet and Micah is fixing it because the landlord is mia. Besides this we have asked him for other minor things verbally. He said he was looking for someone to do the work (a month ago).

I saw in your great piece that we should send a written order for repairs. Would that work for us in our case. I am so glad I read this great!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on January 17, 2013:

If it is a serious health hazzard, you can still go to your local Health Department. Because having a broken pool fence is a serious risk to the general public, they may intervene. This landlord is putting herself at risk for a very serious lawsuit. Even if she keeps a fence around a pool and a child gets hurt in, the owner can be held accountable. You may want to remind her that it would be her legal liablilty. As far as the squirrels, that is probably something that the landlord/ owner isn't accountable for because it is an act of nature. Hope this helps!

Venus Rutledge on January 17, 2013:

I rent from my boss. We have never had a contract of any sort. I have told her the things that go wrong and simple things like replacing a toilet flapper or a faucet we do our selves with no deduction from our rent and obviously saving her money from calling a plumber! A couple of times she paid for the parts needed! Now we have a larger problem....Living in Florida of course we have a pool that is caged. The screening is rotten from the years and I have told her this several times. She had a screening folk come out to estimate replacement but with no avail on her part. We now have tree rats (squirrels) coming in and pooping all around the pool as well as my disabled husband trying to chase them out during the day while I'm at work! THIS IS DISGUSTING, not to mention unhealthy. What can one do with no contract and all is verbal in Florida?

Michelle Liew from Singapore on December 10, 2012:

My parents once rented a house out to people who literally wrecked the entire sofa and other things in the house. I guess this is a two way street....if both parties need to be aware of laws present and photograph any evidence in case anything untoward happens. It can be a really dicey issue if not handled well, and thanks for bringing it to light!! Sharing.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on August 12, 2012:

I don't understand why landlords don't want to repair their property either but it must be because they don't have to live there. I would much rather my tenenats tell me about a problem too, especially before they try to fix it themselves, epecially when it is a problem involving water. Thanks so much for sharing that here Jellygator!

jellygator from USA on August 11, 2012:

Great hub! I have had two run-ins with landlords, then I became one.

In the first instance, I had to get help from Legal Aid in the state where I lived due to the landlord hiding a SEVERE cockroach problem. The instructions they gave me were exactly the same as you've described here.

In the second case, it did escalate and I had to go to city inspectors, which got action FAST! Unfortunately, the actions taken shattered the foundation of the property, creating a worse problem. I asked to be let out of my lease and they granted me permission and gave me my security deposit back.

As a landlord, I cannot understand why a property owner wouldn't want to keep their property in great condition. I truly appreciate it when a tenant tells me repairs are needed, because it saves me a lot of money in the long run if I can fix a problem while it's still small.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on August 07, 2012:

I am sad to hear there are bad landlords in Canada too Rolly. Your solution is a great one and a good thing for those with the skills to do. Thanks so much for your insightful comment.

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on August 06, 2012:

Hi Tammy... all great points and I must say I have experienced some terrible and yet some gracious landlords over my years. The worst times were those times when I did not have much choice. My way was to do the repair and refuse to pay the rent at much inflated hourly rate... lol... That is the other side of me... injustice is something I will not stand for. Our laws are much different here in Canada. The tenant now is very much held accountable...

Hugs from Canada

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 18, 2012:

Thanks dwachira. I am glad you USED to be in this situation. Thanks for the comment!

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on July 18, 2012:

Thanks tammyswallow for such great tips, i once found myself in such a problem, i wish i had these tips back then. Voted up, useful and shared.

Sandra M Urquhart from Fort Lauderdale on July 13, 2012:

Thank you. I will look into that.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 12, 2012:

Hi Etherealenigma,

Wow.. what a question. If your landlord knows you are doing this and he has a notice sent to you by email (writing), you may be putting yourself in a bad situation. Here is why... if you are renting a home or an apartment and anything happens to the big items such as the refridgerator, furnace, heater, air conditioner, refridgerator, appliances (if furnished), washer, dryer, or water heater- most of these items will be covered while you are in the apartment and when you leave the apartment under "normal wear and tear." However, this landlord can now claim that any thing that malfunctions while you are there or when you leave is a result of your confessed manipulation of the fuse box. Depending on how your lease is written (and this isn't something that is normally addressed in standard leases), you will be held responsible for "damages." (unfortunatley the law works under reasonable conclusions).

Here is an example to consider. If you have an air conditioning system in your home and it breaks due to age, malfunction, or if it freezes up due to you turning the power on and off it is most likely that you can be held accountable for a new system (which can run as high as $10,000). If you have a shady landlord, you can be certain that he or she will claim that the system failure is a result of "damage" caused by you turning the fuses on and off. This could be possible for every appliance and fixture such as the water heater. Because the law tends to favor the landlord, the burden of proof that it didn't occur because of your actions will be on you and it could be quite difficult to prove that turning the power supply on and off every day didn't cause these problems.

If you leave the apartment without any items being damaged and worn out, he can't punish you or charge you for something that isn't broken. You are right to have an electrician inspect the power box when you leave. You can also take videos of it working in proper order and keep them in the event he does take you to court.

You may want to consider purchasing a device such as an Infinisave Power Saver that will give you similar results in savings (probably not as much) and send your landlord a written notice that you are no longer turning the fuses on and off and give him a copy of the reciept. This may alleviate some of your liability and appease this landlord. Hope this helps!

Sandra M Urquhart from Fort Lauderdale on July 12, 2012:

Hi Tammy,

I have a question. My landlord is having a fit over the fact that I shut the switches for the current in the fuse box off on a regular basis daily. I have found that by cutting the current coming into the house's grid, I save about $100 per month. He insists that this will cause the switches to blow, however, the lady at the family center that told me about this strategy, said she's been doing it for 5 years and has yet to have a problem with the fuses blowing. She said that she asked her electrician the cost of repairing it, and he said $300. When she added up the costs versus what she was saving, she said it was worth it because she was saving $1200/year in electrical costs.

I explained all this to the landlord and told him that if there was damage, I would be willing to pay. However, the landlord recently sent me an email saying he was simply going to charge me for this when I move, but I don't think he can charge me if he has no proof of damage to the box or switches. So I'm thinking that I will get an electrician to check those fuses before I move and get a written statement of their functionality in case he does simply try to blanketly charge me. I'm thinking that if he charges me for it, and there is no damage, I can take him to small claims, right?

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 12, 2012:

Good to see you billybuc. I am glad you had good experiences. It is a big crapshoot. There is no reporting agency for bad landlords like there is for bad tenants. Thanks for your visit.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 12, 2012:

I have been very, very lucky with regards to landlords. My son on the other hand has had problems in the past. It really is a crap shoot whether you get a good one or not, but if you get one of the bad one, this hub is a great resource of information. Passing this on to friends who need it.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 11, 2012:

I am glad it you find it useful Duchess O'Blunt! I just hope you will never need this advice. Thanks for visiting!

Duchess OBlunt on July 11, 2012:

Both the hub and the comments have given me much food for thought. We have owned for many many years, and now that we are in a position to rent again - at least temporarily - this is a handy article for me. Good timing all around. Rated up!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 09, 2012:

That is a shame lyricwriter. That is horrible landlord behavior. They could get into serious trouble with the health department. I am glad you found this useful and I appreciate you sharing that story.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on July 09, 2012:

Tammy, this is a very useful guidelines for renters. Very well written, easy to read, and has a lot of useful information. I have had past issues with landlords myself. Long story short, they wouldn't fix nothing. The entire building was infested with roaches. We paid $700 to move in and left within a month. That entire building should be shut down. Very useful information that every renter should know.

ps-orbis on July 06, 2012:

You've done a really great job. I love your lenses, especially this one. Thank you for sharing :D

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 04, 2012:

Thank you so much audraleigh. That is very kind of you. I am sorry you had a bad experience wih landlords. I appreciate your visit.

iamaudraleigh on July 03, 2012:

I always admire you for your formatting in your hubs. They are easy to follow and look like elite publications! I have had plenty of landlord issues in the past. There is aalways red tape too. I was lucky to get out of paying $75 for taking my name off of a lease. Nowhere in the rental agreement could prove the fee. You are an incredible writer and should submit this on legal sites! Great work Tammy!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 03, 2012:

Wow Nell. A crooked landlord would love to rent him a property. Some rentals are good for those who don't want to deal with a yard or home repairs. It isn't something good for those who are inexperienced to get into without some coaching. I am amazed by how many college students are commenting about how they have been taken advantage of. I hope he will read it and get a basic understanding of what he may be getting into. Thanks for stopping by.

Nell Rose from England on July 03, 2012:

The trouble is with my brother, he is so innocent, he wants to move into a rented apartment, and I keep saying to him just buy for goodness sake! he doesn't realise just how much trouble he will or could have with a landlord. I have a friend who moved into a house that was virtually falling down! one day in, the roof caved in and flooded the kitchen! the landlord was useless and they had to move out, it makes me shudder to think that my brother may go through something like this, I know not all of them are crooks but the majority of them are, well done for great advice, I am going to push my brothers nose to the screen to read it! thanks, nell

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on July 02, 2012:

You said it well Rajan Jolly. Landlords have the potential to really harm tenants and deny them of their rights. Tenants need to be educated in the laws so they can protect themselves. Thanks so much for your visit.

Squeesh from United States on July 02, 2012:

Amazing Hub! Great information to know in those bad situations! thanks! Shared voted up and useful!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 02, 2012:

Excellent stuff Tammy and will come in very handy for those who are facing non cooperative landlords. Most landlords are a law unto themselves and become quite menacing when faced with the prospect of legal action.

Voted up, useful and shared.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 30, 2012:

Thanks so much Lord De Cross. It is a shame that tenants don't know their rights or are afraid to pursue them due to bad landlords. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Joseph De Cross from New York on June 30, 2012:

Tammy, catching up with some good articles from you. This hub is superb! Unfortunately most landlords think they own your life by asking those 2 months security deposit. With bad weather and the economy, they want to avoid responsabilities. This will help so many tenants that usually face a cold clerk at the CourtHouse, when it comes time to find legal help and protect the tenants rights. Voted up!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 30, 2012:

Thanks so much Thelma Alberts. Hope you have an awesome weekend too!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 30, 2012:

I appreciate that fcmosher!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 30, 2012:

Thanks Alocsin. I am glad your experiences have been positive ones.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on June 30, 2012:

Very good advice and very informative hub. Thanks for sharing and for following me on twitter. Have a great weekend!

Fred's Bughouse from near the Equator on June 29, 2012:

Sharp lens! Voted up and followed. Good work here.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 29, 2012:

Excellent advice for all the renters, Tammy. I've been fortunate that all my landlords have been professional management companies who complied with the law in regard to repairs. Voting this Up and Useful.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 29, 2012:

Thanks so much RealHouseWife. I hope it will help them. :)

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 29, 2012:

I need this right NOW for a family member - thanks you for your hard work on this!!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 29, 2012:

I am glad you got a good one unknown spy! Thanks for your visit.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 29, 2012:

Thanks so much Mhatter99. I am flattered! Thanks for reading!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 29, 2012:

Thanks for reading Josh. The best things any renter can do is take photos when they move into a property, get a good renter's insurance policy, and learn what your rights are. Thanks for reading and sharing!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 29, 2012:

Yikes RunningDeer! Before you leave make sure you review your lease to see what the consequences are for losing a deposit. Once you get it empty and clean, take lots of pictures and if you can, compare them to any pre move in photos that you have. If this landlord does not return your deposit, show him your photos and ask what the reasoning is. These landlords prey on college students who usually don't know the law and they think you won't standup for yourself. Once they see you know what your rights are and you are ready to enforce them, they will probably not try to rip you off.

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 29, 2012:

You are right Natasha- so many people are afraid to look into their rights and complain because they think the landlord will make their live very difficult. People with these problems should really contact the city and the historical districts of Charleston since they depend so much on tourism. That is a shame that is happening widescale in such a beautiful city.

DragonBallSuper on June 29, 2012:

Been living on a boarding house these past few years since Im working far away from home. Fortunately, my landlord keeps the building neat and clean. make repairs on all the damages and twice a week cleaning and scrubbing.

Very useful info here Tammy!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on June 28, 2012:

OMG - I thought I'd never use that (omg). but this, well written, article brought it out. Twice!

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on June 28, 2012:

Tammy, this is very useful for me! I am living with my twin brother and we have a landlord. Fortunately nothing has happened yet, but that seems to be when things do happen :) So thanks for this wealth of information Tammy! I really appreciate it, voted up and several more and sharing!

RunningDeer from Iowa on June 28, 2012:

I have a horrible landlord right now. It's just one of those big companies who don't care about their properties. They look at me and just see a college kid and blow me off. I've also heard terrible things about them not giving any deposits back whatsoever. We haven't done a thing to this place, so it will be interesting to see what happens next month when we turn the place back over to them.

Natasha from Hawaii on June 28, 2012:

There is mold growing. And I can tell the foundation has...moved since I started living here. I will definitely take (more) photos, and my lawyer has record of writing him twice requesting the repairs be made. I also have video that I sent the lawyer. The upstairs tenants changed last month and the landlord had a plumber here then. I hoped he would make the repairs at that time, but he didn't. At this point, even if I had a letter sent that could potentially trigger breaking the lease, I would still be out July rent, so I'm just going to not bother with it and move out at my leisure after my new lease starts on the 17th.

Sadly, these sorts of issues are very common in Charleston. Many of these houses are falling over or unsafe, and college kids don't know any better. They just don't realize they have rights! When I was a senior in college and moved out of my apartment, I had money taken out of my deposit and didn't know for years that the landlord could legally without the money he hadn't given back to me.

Thanks, again, for your hub!

Tammy (author) from North Carolina on June 28, 2012:

That is terrible Natasha! Water can ruin the foundation of that house. If you were staying you could go to your local Health Department and get an inspection. They would force him to repair that leak. The mold it causes is so harmful. I do hope this hub helps someone. Thanks for sharing and I hope you get out of that house! Make sure when you leave you have proof that you requested the leak to be fixed and get lots of photos and videos in case this landlord tries to make you pay for this leak.

Natasha from Hawaii on June 28, 2012:

I could actually start the process of breaking my lease right now because my landlord won't make repairs he needs to. A water pipe is leaking and causing flooding under the house. It's been that way for months. I've even had a lawyer contact him. Fortunately, I'm moving in July, anyway, and don't feel like going through the hassle, especially since I'll probably have to take him to court for my deposit.

So many tenants do not realize their rights - I hope someone can put this information to good use!