T Nation

Renting Issues


#1
 I currently live with my girlfriend and we have a total of 4 cats between the two of us. We moved in together to a new town so I could take a promotion in my company, but was still close enough for us to finish school. We started renting in a trailer park (yeah, I know) and the community we are in is actually very nice, most of the people who live here are snowbirds or are retirees. Because the community we live in is so small it was the only place that would take us, was large enough, and let us keep our pets.


We were the first people to rent this home and it had a lot of issues. The plumbing was put together poorly and water was leaking into the walls which caused a mold problem, to the extent that it was coming out of the baseboards on both sides of the affected wall. The plumbing was fixed, but no cleaning besides what My girlfriend and I did to the exterior of the wall was done. A lot of the paint in the affected rooms is now cracking on the ceiling.

We were told our unit would have an AC unit. This place does not actually have any AC of any kind.
Our toilet hasnt been flushing properly for at least two months, and management never returns my calls or emails on the subject
Our smoke alarms are constantly going off, and management handles it the same way they are handling our toilet.

I called the office here and the corporate office and left a message telling them I was not paying any further rent until our problems were fixed. What can I all do in this situation? My lease is not up until May. Can I call any government offices? Can I just exit my lease if I can find a place in a nearby town?


#2

You need to document everything. When you first moved in you should’ve taken date stamped photos of all the rooms and any damage. Otherwise, they can say you did it, keep your bond and even go after you for repair monies.


#3
  1. What state? A lot of states have rental codes that specify these kinds of things.

  2. What does your lease say?


#4

[quote]thethirdruffian wrote:

  1. What state? A lot of states have rental codes that specify these kinds of things.

  2. What does your lease say?[/quote]

Ruff is right, every state is different, and the two most important things to look at are the codes, statutes, or regulations governing residential leases and the actual terms of the lease.


#5

Your rights depend on local authority. Los Angeles, for example, has rent control and a Housing Authority to enforce living conditions and tenant rights.

Document everything, and your rent is your leverage with the landlord. I would suggest finding a new place once your lease expires; this will be a headache for you so long as you are dealing with the current rental management company or owner.


#6

Google “tenant rights” in your state.


#7

Been a landlord for 10yrs

Check your lease…you should have a reasonable expectation of repairs for common areas. Generally 48hrs…in this case its a mgmt co…have the repairs done keep & copy invoices then deduct from next months rent. If they bitch they are in breach of contract & you can exit lease with no penalties

Imo - the paint cracking is a bs issue I’d ignore you. Smoke dectors are $5 at homedepot just pop in a battery & be done with it…however the plumbing & hvac they should fix. A new ac unit could be $1200

Most likely its a out of town investment firm running a conglomo of low units. Sorry but they wont give a shit untill your 10 days late. Best bet is to find a new place while your in good standing & bail. It will cost the ll more then its worth to pursue you later. This time take more time to inspect. Rentings like everything else you get what you pay for


#8

Pretty much what the others have said, depending on population of you are in and jurisdiction if any rental codes are in place. Otherwise Search for landlord tenet laws for the state you are in or some places have agencies in place to assist you.

Sounds like it’s time to be looking for another place to move if that is how they are going to do business. Good luck


#9

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
We were the first people to rent this home and it had a lot of issues. The plumbing was put together poorly and water was leaking into the walls which caused a mold problem, to the extent that it was coming out of the baseboards on both sides of the affected wall. The plumbing was fixed, but no cleaning besides what My girlfriend and I did to the exterior of the wall was done. A lot of the paint in the affected rooms is now cracking on the ceiling.

We were told our unit would have an AC unit. This place does not actually have any AC of any kind.
Our toilet hasnt been flushing properly for at least two months, and management never returns my calls or emails on the subject
Our smoke alarms are constantly going off, and management handles it the same way they are handling our toilet.

I called the office here and the corporate office and left a message telling them I was not paying any further rent until our problems were fixed. What can I all do in this situation? My lease is not up until May. Can I call any government offices? Can I just exit my lease if I can find a place in a nearby town?[/quote]

In Chicago, you can only break a lease if the unit is not fit for habitation. The remedy for lack of A/C would be a small reduction in rent. The remedy for a broken toilet would be for you to call a plumber, and send the receipt in with your next rent check, less the cost of the plumber. Are the smoke alarms hardwired? Do they go off for no reason, or are they simply sensitive?

Mold could be a reason to break a lease, although if I were a tenant I’d want a doctor’s letter stating that mold has aggravated some condition and that I can no longer reside at the house.

Like someone else said, document everything. Send the landlord a certified letter stating 1) how much you will be reducing the rent because of a lack of A/C, 2) when you will be calling a plumber to fix the toilet and that you will be deducting the repair from the rent, and 3) whatever you want to do about the mold and smoke alarms.

Document, document, document with copies, certified letters, and pics.


#10

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Mold could be a reason to break a lease, although if I were a tenant I’d want a doctor’s letter stating that mold has aggravated some condition and that I can no longer reside at the house.
[/quote]

I’m not sure what mold would aggravate more than four fucking cats. :slight_smile:


#11

Good point.

I’m thinking it’s a Hurricane Andrew black mold type of situation. If it’s a little mildew on the baseboards, then forget it.

Come to think of it, with four cats, the landlord might want him out.


#12

Thats alot of cats for a trailer. I dont do pets the damage is always bad. Just out of curiosity do you have any nascar banners hanging up in the trailer?


#13

I don’t know any smell in the world that is harder to get out of a rental than cat piss. Maybe meth-lab residue. Maybe.


#14

^ lots & lots of oil base killz


#15

[quote]thehebrewhero wrote:
Thats alot of cats for a trailer. I dont do pets the damage is always bad. Just out of curiosity do you have any nascar banners hanging up in the trailer?[/quote]

I wish. It’s a double wide, just under 1400 square feet. It’s a little smaller than I would like with having all our cats, but it’s not cramped for space or anything.


#16

My phone call to corporate worked for the most part, My landlord had people in here working on my place yesterday. Still nothing on the fire alarm though.


#17

[quote]thehebrewhero wrote:
^ lots & lots of oil base killz[/quote]

Ya, if you can find where those fuckers hid and pissed, or want to do the whole house top to bottom plus the attic and any hidden crawl spaces. I’d let renters have a pack of wolves before I’d let 4 cats in. Lol.