Can I withhold payment of final water bill and sue my former landlord for repairs he did not effect despite knowing for months?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2012

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Can I withhold payment of final water bill and sue my former landlord for repairs he did not effect despite knowing for months?

My landlord from whom I had been renting for 2 years sold the property a few months ago without my prior knowledge, and is now demanding my final payment of the water and sewer bill (which was a part of our agreement) despite the fact that there are at least 3 repairs he never took care of even after knowing about them for over a year. I cannot compel him to effect the repairs (that falls on the property’s new owner) but I am going to withhold payment and file a complaint in court over the conditions (unable to use sun room for 2 winters because of broken radiator).

Asked on August 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should be able to withhold payment of your final water bill to your soon to be former landlord due to repairs that he refused to make despite requests to do so. However, I suggest that you do not do so in that under the law you would not be legally allowed to do so from a point of having merit as to your position.

The better option would be to report the landlord to the local building and permit department over the conditions of the property that you have written about.

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