Can a landlord refuse to make repairs to an apartment so thatitcauses atenant to haveto move into another unit and therefore have their rent increased?

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Can a landlord refuse to make repairs to an apartment so thatitcauses atenant to haveto move into another unit and therefore have their rent increased?

I have been a tenant in the same apartment for 10 years. Most other tenants’ rent is about $100 more a month than mine. The owner will not do any repairs/painting etc. He also refuses to give me permission to paint. He wants me to move into anoher one of the apartments so he can raise my rent.

Asked on January 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A landlord does not have to make minor repairs, but anything affecting habitability, he must make, according to the implied warranty of habitability, which is a term added to all leases that the apartment must be usable and inhabitable for  its intended purpose. You can sue the landlord to force these sorts of repairs. Lesser repars *may* give rise to a cause of action for some compensation or rent abatement, if you're not getting what you paid for--though it may not be economically worthwhile suing for them. The landlord can probably refuse to paint and permission to paint, unless it's the case that the paint is badly peeling, chipping, etc. or otherwise again affecting use of the apartment or its habitability--but there's no obligation to allow paint for purely aesthetic reasons.


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