How doI get my landlord to fix things in my home?

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How doI get my landlord to fix things in my home?

We can not use the bath tub in my kid’s bathroom because it is rotten; the hot water is hooked up to the toliet in my bathroom so every time we flush it completely drains the hot water; the ceiling above the shower is rotten and falling down; my roof leaks in several different places; the window in the kitchen is literally falling out and we have shingles missing. My kid tripped and put a hole in a wall and we found out that he put up new sheet rock over black mold that is growing in the insulation. You can go outside in the morning and see the heat coming though the roof.

Asked on February 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It sounds like you have uninhabitable living conditions, especially the black mold. Here are a couple of ways you can essentially get the results you need and possibly move without expending monies out on your own. You need to take photos and a long video of a swooping shot of the whole place and make sure you include in your video the date (newspapers of the same day would be helpful) and then basically go to the health department and building and safety department and explain what is happening and show the video and photos. Then, if the inspectors deem it a danger and uninhabitable, a few things can occur. They will either order the landlord to help you move (pay for the move) while repairs are made to the agencies' standards or they will give the landlord a certain amount of time to make sure those repairs are done and either prosecute him if they are not or make him pay you to move. Either way, you should not stay there. Start staying somewhere else and deduct those monies from your rent. Put everything in writing and explain he cannot retaliate for reporting him and he cannot ignore the living conditions.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the circumstances you describe, you should probably sue the landlord. In the lawsuit, you would ask both for a court order directing the landlord to make these repairs and also for monetary compensation for the time you have been living with such significant impairment of habitability. All rental premises some with what is known as the "implied warranty of habitability," or the requirement that the premises be fit for inhabitation and residence--which your apartment seems to not be. If possible, retain an attorney to help you; if you cannot afford one, try contacting Legal Services, which provides free legal assistance and which takes landlord-tenant cases.


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