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Need Help! Renters Rights aka, its raining in my kitchen!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Last night I noticed I had a leak in the cupboard ceiling and called the manager. He said he'd call his mom about his since she handles that stuff and comments that everyone's got leaks but no one complains because the rent it so cheap. Yeah its dirt cheap but I expect the place to be safe! I think the structure is failing, in the last 2-3 weeks I've noticed like 7, yes 7 very noticeable low spots in the floor that are new. When I first moved in I had serious flooding from the apt above in the bathroom that had been flooding for a long time but had never been reported (I was totally puzzled about the paint pilling until I found it raining in there). I know there is structural damage from that, has to be, there's been more then one occasion where the roof leaked in the top floor roof and it literarily filtered all the way down to the parking garage level! (2 stories of apts with parking underneath) and all they did was fix the leak and this was long term stuff. Unless its going to cause an immediate problem (like the neighbors outlet throwing a shower of sparks) they take MONTHS to fix. The place is run by a slum lord I think. Anyway, since the bathroom issue I haven't had any major problems outside them taking 3 months to get me a working stove/oven and we've been here a year and a half but this leaking is the last straw. I've been thinking of moving in Aug when the rent is paid up and I think we will be moving! Anyway, my immediate concern is stopping it raining in the kitchen, the manager is out of town for the day and turned off his cell. I'm going to go down to his moms house and knock on her door and hope she's home. If I cant get a hold of either can I call the plumber and make them pay for it? This leak has soaked half my kitchen already!
post #2 of 14
Depends on where you live each state, and county has their own laws on this sort of thing. In California i blieve that if something is posing an imediate danger or creating an unsafe living condition, say no water, gas or electric, you can pay someone else to do the work, als long as it isn't an unreasonable cost and then deduct from the rent with copies of the receipts.

Call your local governemnt office and ask them to direct you.
post #3 of 14
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I finally got a hold of him and his mom and there trying to get a plumber over here ASAP to fix it. Apparently there's a buyer coming in to look at this place this morning. There in for a shock because no one is going to let them in for a look around! I know I wont be allowing them in without 24 hours notice.
post #5 of 14

Renters rights

It depends on where you life, but if you document you
compliants by sending your landlord a registered letter
then eventually you will legally be able to with hold a portion of
your rent that is equivelent to the percentage of
your apt that is not usable due to the flooding....
make any sense???

In other words if you have proof that you complained
over and over and he neglected to fix it, you can
withhold a percentage of your rent.

kadm16
post #6 of 14
Maybe you should let him in, so he can see what terrible condition the place is in and you can kill the sale!

Your legal aid office can mail you a copy of the landlord-tenant law, although it's not really the "complete" law. Are you on a lease or month-to-month? Can they terminate your tenancy for no reason? Because they may if they sense you are the kind of person who wants stuff fixed!

We have rented from slum lords too...it sucks...but I've gotten good results from calling several times a day and showing up at the office if that failed.
post #7 of 14
When we had problems with an evil landlord, we waited to try to report the place as not up to code until after we moved out, but since we didn't live there any more and couldn't let the inspectors in, there was nothing they could do. I SO wish I had done it sooner, as this landlord repeatedly took advantage of college kids who didn't know any better.

Try calling the building inspector's office (should be in the blue pages). If they can't take any action, they might be able to tell you who can. They might at least be able to place an intimidating call or write a compliance letter. We had a tendency to put off doing anything unless there was an immediate problem (like your leak), but like I said, I wish we'd done more b/c this woman was truly a slumlord and deserves retaliation.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
The plumber came...
The plumber saw...
The plumber knocked a hole in the ceiling and down came a river...
The plumber said "this jobs to big for me!"
The plumber left and in his wake left a hole in the ceiling that stinks and a fast drip that filling up the bucket an inch every 15 minutes...

I think we were better off before the plumber came! There telling me I may have to live with it till Wednesday :
post #9 of 14
Well, if it were me, i'd figure out how much rent is per day and deduct the days that you have had to live with this problem off next month's rent. It is worth a shot. At worst, they ask you for the rest of the money and at best, you've saved some. I am glad they are (at least) getting a plumber in to deal with it. Good luck!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
My rent is paid in advance till August so that wont work. I'm going to insist they put us up in a hotel until this is fixed becasue what ever is coming out of that hole is making me sick and the house is opened up, I dont want to imagine it when the doors and windows closed!
post #11 of 14
Definitely google "[yourstate] renter's rights" or "[yourstate] tenant rights". Most areas have Tenant's Rights organizations and some of them offer phone support or online advice. You may be surprised at what your rights are or aren't. I remember that when we signed our last lease it had clauses that were unenforceable, and I didn't know that until we were evicted and I investigated the tenant rights in my area.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, they finally offered to pay for a hotel room I've kept the bedroom door closed all day so we'll sleep in there tonight but there coming in tomorrow to rip out half the kitchen to find the leak and I dont want to deal with that so we'll be staying in a hotel (of our choice) at their expense until its all fixed. I just hope they clean up there mess too!
post #13 of 14
A hotel room of your choice, huh? Does it have to be in your town? Is room service included? Can you bring guests?

I'm imagining you whooping it up at the Hilton with a group of buddies, ordering $15 grapefruit halves and $7 sodas.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
lol, dont I wish, they gave me $50 for a room. I dont think they realize how expensive hotels are in this town. When the manager came by with the money I pulled up hotel rates online and he was shocked that best western (where he suggested) was $86! I did find a room for $45 down the street that was clean but i'd sleep in the car before I slept at any of the other less then $80 places.
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