As a landlord, I’ve never faced this issue. I’m obligated to supply safe, functional housing to people, and they’re obligated to pay me (unfortunately my tenants haven’t always kept their end of the bargain). If there is an issue, the landlord should fix it.
If your landlord isn’t keeping up his end of the bargain, and you are, what should you do? If you’re certain, that your landlord should be taking care of the problem, but isn’t, you should do the repairs with the rent money, and send the landlord the receipts. This assumes that you’ve informed your landlord in writing, and isn’t something that you should broke.
For example, if the refrigerator, that your landlord supplied stops working, you need to inform your landlord in writing (if you know that he won’t respond to phone calls). Most leases say that the landlord must be informed of repairs needed in writing, so you need to follow what the lease says.
Then, if the landlord doesn’t make the repairs, you can have the refrigerator repaired. For example, if it costs $150 to fix the fridge, deduct $150 from the rent, and send the receipt in with the rent. Keep a copy of the receipt. If your landlord starts an eviction, you will need the receipt as documentation of what happened.
Another option is to not pay the rent until the repairs are made. You should be sure to save the rent money. Don’t go and spend it.
As always, you would probably want to seek advice from a lawyer. There should be free legal help from local agencies.
If something is broken due to your negligence, you are responsible for the repairs. If your kid breaks a window, you have to repair it. However, a landlord that doesn’t make necessary repairs is not fulfilling his end of the agreement, and there are ways to make it right.
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