What to do if my landlord refuses to fix electrical problems that could lead to a fire?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if my landlord refuses to fix electrical problems that could lead to a fire?

Asked on December 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If there is an imminent safety threat, such may violate the implied warranty of habitability--the obligation, imposed by law on all landlords, that their rental premises be fit for use and inhabitation. If that is the case, and if the landlord has refused to fix it after notice from you of the issue, that may entitle you to do one or more of the following: seek monetary compensation; pay for the repair, and deduct the cost thereof from  your rent; seek a court order compelling the repair; terminate the lease without penalty. Much depends on the exact circumstances, including the severity and immediacy of the threat--if the issue is not severe enough, the tenant is not entitled to take legal action. You should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney, who can evaluate the situation for you and advise you as to what to do.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability, which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with state and local housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, as in your case where there is a safety issue regarding the electrical problems which could result in a fire, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done, and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.

When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs (call an electrician to make the repairs in your case) and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  You can also contact your local housing code inspector, who can bring an enforcement action against the landlord for housing code violations.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption