What are my rights regarding unsanitary living conditions?

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What are my rights regarding unsanitary living conditions?

I have just moved into a new condo complex as a tenant. I have recently noticed a pipe sticking out of my ceiling above my shower it has water running out of it everyday. I guess its run off from the AC unit this is what they are saying. My shower where the water drips is totally yellow looks like this water leaking can be harmful. I can’t even take a clean shower its horrible in the middle of my shower cold nasty water drips on my head. I’m curious what I can do? I would like to demand all my money back I’ve paid them I’ve been here about 25 days not a full month.

Asked on February 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

All leases come with what is known as the "implied warranty of habitability." This is the requirement that the rental premises be fit for their intended purpose (for example, residence). A breach of this warranty, such as by having unhygienic conditions in a shower, can give rise to grounds to sue for monetary compensation; it can, if the condition is so severe as to make the premises essentially unliveable, allow termination of the lease; and it can also sometimes allow the tenant to make the repairs him/herself and deduct the cost from the rent. The landlord must first be given written notice of the problem, and a reasonable chance to correct it (which can mean several weeks). If that doesn't happen, then the tenant may be able  to take legal action. You should start by sending your landlord a written letter, sent some way or ways you can prove delivery, putting him or her on notice of the situation and asking that it be corrected. If it is not, then you could sue the landlord for compensation and/or for a declaratory judgment (court determination) that the landlord has breached the lease, allowing you to terminate it, or for an injunction (court order) forcing him to fix it. If it comes to that, you would be best served by hiring a landlord-tenant attorney to take action on your behalf.


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