What to do if our house is falling apart by the day yet the landlord is demanding rent?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if our house is falling apart by the day yet the landlord is demanding rent?

We are behind but have been making small payments to her to avoid eviction. However, I think that this house is almost condemnable. What should our course of action be?

Asked on December 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied "warranty of habitability" which requires that a landlord maintain the premises in a habitable (i.e. safe and sanitary)condition by complying with local/state housing codes. The disrepair that is apparently present in your rental would qualify as a breach of this warranty.

When there is such a breach and a tenant notifies the landlord (I'm assuming that you have by now done so), the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making necessary repairs. If the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time, then the tenant has the following options: They can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent; they can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease; or if they stay on the premises, they 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 authority, which can bring an enforcement action against the landlord for code violations and compel the landlord to take action.

At this point, you need to contact an attorney who handles landlord-tenant cases. They can best advise further.


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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption