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  • Withholding Rent

    I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I
    moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to
    fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing
    on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I
    would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could
    not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the
    storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How
    would I go about this?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Withholding Rent

    Todd wrote:>>
    I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How would I go about this?
    Thanks in advance
    Advise your landlord what you have done. Show him the receipts for the work
    and deduct that amount from the rent.
    Instead of with holding rent, you go to court, see a judge and set up an
    escrow account.
    Pay the escrow account every month on time, not the landlord.
    The landlord is not paid until the repairs have been made properly.
    You can also have a cityy/county building inspector and see what needs to be
    done, he'll advise the landlord and give a date by which it has to be fixed
    or he gets shut down.
    In the meantime, be looking for other places to use.



    Comment


    • #3
      Withholding Rent

      On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 14:46:28 -0500, "Richard" <[email protected]>
      Todd wrote:>>
      I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How would I go about this? Thanks in advance
      Advise your landlord what you have done. Show him the receipts for the workand deduct that amount from the rent.
      He hasn't done anything to repair it himself yet.
      Instead of with holding rent, you go to court, see a judge and set up anescrow account.Pay the escrow account every month on time, not the landlord.The landlord is not paid until the repairs have been made properly.You can also have a cityy/county building inspector and see what needs to bedone, he'll advise the landlord and give a date by which it has to be fixedor he gets shut down.In the meantime, be looking for other places to use.
      ****, Richard!

      I've seen other people here criticize you for giving out bad
      information, but most of the time it is in areas that I don't know
      enough about.

      This particular area, I am at least somewhat familiar with the laws in 1
      state, and this would not fly there.

      IANAL, but I do know that you have to follow strict guidelines in
      notifying the landlord of the repairs needed, and you can't just
      withhold rent.

      I also believe even after jumping through all the hoops, you can only
      withhold rent if the place is uninhabitable.

      Of course, that's just in 1 state.

      The OP needs to find out the process for his particular state.

      About the only thing you got right is that he needs to find alternative
      storage. He probably won't be able to collect damages for the mold on
      his stuff, unless it's covered by his own insurance.

      Comment


      • #4
        Withholding Rent


        "Todd" <[email protected]> wrote in message
        news:[email protected] om...
        I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How would I go about this?
        Depends on state law and possibly terms of your lease. Texas has a
        repair-and-deduct statute for health and safety defects, but you're required
        you follow a specific procedure to take advantage of it. Post your state
        and maybe you'll get a specific response. This also might be a problem your
        local health or building department will require your LL to remedy. As to
        your common-law rights, you might have a good claim to recover the lessened
        value for not being able to use your storage area, for the damage done to
        your belongings, and for any expenses you pay to repair the problems.


        Comment


        • #5
          Withholding Rent

          Zen Cohen wrote:
          "Todd" wrote:
          I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How would I go about this?
          Depends on state law and possibly terms of your lease. Texas has a repair- and-deduct statute for health and safety defects, but you're required you follow a specific procedure to take advantage of it. Post your state and maybe you'll get a specific response. This also might be a problem your local health or building department will require your LL to remedy. As to your common-law rights, you might have a good claim to recover the lessened value for not being able to use your storage area, for the damage done to your belongings, and for any expenses you pay to repair the problems.
          He appears to be posting from Massachusetts.
          --
          Theodore A. Kaldis
          [email protected]

          Comment


          • #6
            Withholding Rent

            Fish Tacos wrote:>>
            On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 14:46:28 -0500, "Richard" <[email protected]>
            Todd wrote:>>
            I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How would I go about this? Thanks in advance
            Advise your landlord what you have done. Show him the receipts for thework and deduct that amount from the rent.
            He hasn't done anything to repair it himself yet.
            Instead of with holding rent, you go to court, see a judge and set up anescrow account.Pay the escrow account every month on time, not the landlord.The landlord is not paid until the repairs have been made properly.You can also have a cityy/county building inspector and see what needs tobe done, he'll advise the landlord and give a date by which it has to be fixed or he gets shut down. In the meantime, be looking for other places to use.
            ****, Richard!
            I've seen other people here criticize you for giving out bad information, but most of the time it is in areas that I don't know enough about.
            I have never admitted to being an attorney. This group is for the discussion
            of legal matters. It is not, and should never be considered legal advice.
            Many of the people who post in here do so with the understanding that what
            is fact in their state, is the same in all states. By no means is that true.


            This particular area, I am at least somewhat familiar with the laws in 1 state, and this would not fly there.
            Precisely. Your state laws are different than someone else's. That's why
            they are called state laws.
            Being a landlord doesn't necessarily mean you are an expert in the field
            either.
            Name me one state that makes landlords get a license to do business as real
            estate agents do.


            IANAL, but I do know that you have to follow strict guidelines in notifying the landlord of the repairs needed, and you can't just withhold rent.
            If the landlord is not readily available and the repairs are immenent, then
            you have the right to protect your interest. You can hire someone to do the
            repair work. If they don't do it right, or there is more to it, you do it
            until the repairs are fixed for good. Then bill the landlord. This can be
            done by subtracting from the rent, or a straight bill for the total amount.
            If you withhold rent, you are in violation of the lease agreement and can be
            evicted.
            Paying to a court approved escrow account is the same as paying the rent.
            The landlord gets nothing until the repairs are made.


            I also believe even after jumping through all the hoops, you can only withhold rent if the place is uninhabitable.
            Not necessarily. That would be defined by state law.
            Of course, that's just in 1 state.
            The OP needs to find out the process for his particular state.
            About the only thing you got right is that he needs to find alternative storage. He probably won't be able to collect damages for the mold on his stuff, unless it's covered by his own insurance.
            The mold is due to the failure of the landlord to maintain proper
            conditions.
            The landlord should be held totally responsible. Again, defined by state
            law.

            I am not a lawyer, I do not post legal advice. Legal advice is obtained by
            hiring an attorney.
            Do try to remember that this is a discussion group, not a formal office
            confrontation.



            Comment


            • #7
              Withholding Rent

              On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 22:13:24 -0500, "Richard" <[email protected]>
              Fish Tacos wrote:>>
              This particular area, I am at least somewhat familiar with the laws in 1 state, and this would not fly there.
              Precisely. Your state laws are different than someone else's. That's whythey are called state laws.Being a landlord doesn't necessarily mean you are an expert in the fieldeither.Name me one state that makes landlords get a license to do business as realestate agents do.
              I don't know why you bring that up - I speak from experience as a tenant
              and an apt. association, and I didn't claim to be an expert. If I were
              an expert I wouldn't have been as vague about jumping through hoops as I
              would have been able to tell him exactly what those were - at least for
              TX.
              IANAL, but I do know that you have to follow strict guidelines in notifying the landlord of the repairs needed, and you can't just withhold rent.
              If the landlord is not readily available and the repairs are immenent, thenyou have the right to protect your interest. You can hire someone to do therepair work.
              I suppose, but I don't think his situation justifies this.
              If they don't do it right, or there is more to it, you do ituntil the repairs are fixed for good. Then bill the landlord. This can bedone by subtracting from the rent,
              In Texas, this is only possible if you jump through several hoops
              including notifying the landlord in writing ahead of time.

              You can't just start deducting rent unless you want to risk being
              evicted.
              or a straight bill for the total amount.If you withhold rent, you are in violation of the lease agreement and can beevicted.Paying to a court approved escrow account is the same as paying the rent.
              I suppose if a court approves it, but I've never heard of such a
              thing...
              The landlord gets nothing until the repairs are made.
              I also believe even after jumping through all the hoops, you can only withhold rent if the place is uninhabitable.
              Not necessarily. That would be defined by state law.
              only speaking for 1 state
              Of course, that's just in 1 state. The OP needs to find out the process for his particular state. About the only thing you got right is that he needs to find alternative storage. He probably won't be able to collect damages for the mold on his stuff, unless it's covered by his own insurance.
              The mold is due to the failure of the landlord to maintain properconditions.The landlord should be held totally responsible. Again, defined by statelaw.I am not a lawyer, I do not post legal advice. Legal advice is obtained byhiring an attorney.Do try to remember that this is a discussion group, not a formal officeconfrontation.

              Comment


              • #8
                Withholding Rent


                "Todd" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                news:[email protected] om...
                I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How would I go about this? Thanks in advance
                I am not a lawyer and cannot provide you with legal advice. I was, however,
                a landlord in the state of Washington for 15 years and can provide you with
                the benefit of that experience.

                You don't tell us in which state you reside. That being the case, no one is
                able to offer anything other than general information regarding your
                situation. Most of which will likely be useless. You need to contact either
                an attorney or a tenant's rights organization in your jurisdiction for
                specific information. If you can't afford an attorney, try the nearest
                school of law. They might offer the services of a law student to research
                your needs at no or low cost.

                I took the trouble to trace your host and it appears you are an ATTBI legacy
                client now on Comcast using servers/routers in the Massachusetts area,
                possibly Cambridge area. I could be wrong, as it's still possible you are
                actually located in Connecticut or Rhode Island and using MA servers. Hard
                to tell as I don't know the service area on those servers.

                On the assumption you are in MA, I took the trouble to look up the statutes
                for that state and based on what I found can tell you, you cannot withhold
                rent until the repairs are made nor can you withhold a portion of the rent
                to cover "loss of use" of the storage area. Either of those actions could
                cause your landlord to issue a pay or vacate notice followed by an action
                for unlawful detainer and eventual eviction.

                You can however, under some circumstances, repair and deduct. This is
                covered by Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.) Chapter 111 Section 127L. It
                indicates, should a landlord's failure to repair causes a health hazard a
                tenant can request a Health Inspector to examine the dwelling and if he
                finds the hazard he will issue the tenant a certification of such. The
                tenant must then notify the landlord of the deficiency and he will have a
                certain amount of time to repair it. Should the landlord then fail to remedy
                in the specified time, the tenant can then repair the deficiency at his
                expense and deduct the cost of repairs from rent, provided the cost does not
                exceed 4mos rent in any 12 mo period.

                That's the legal aspect. What you probably don't know is certain forms of
                mold are toxic and a serious health hazard. You can purchase low cost test
                kits at the hardware store to test with. They're usually under $25 and are a
                good investment. I suspect you could also ask the Health Dept. to test, too.
                Living in the Pacific Northwest exposes us to lots of mold. We're quite
                aware of the dangerous possibilities. Exposure can cause death in young
                children or seniors and can cause malaise, headaches, and fatigue in
                otherwise healthy adults. If you can't get it fixed or tested in short
                order, you need to get out of there post haste. Note: stopping the leak and
                eliminating the existing visible traces of mold are inadequate if it is
                hazardous. A toxic cleanup can be required.

                Read these:
                http://www.moldtesting.biz/moldinspectorseattle_was.htm
                http://www.inspect-ny.com/sickhouse/investigate.htm
                google on: mold seattle hazard
                see what pops up




                Comment


                • #9
                  Withholding Rent

                  [email protected] (Todd) wrote in news:a569f671.0309011023.62c83762
                  @posting.google.com:
                  I have a storage room in my apartment which has been leaking since I moved in 4 months ago. I have had them out 4 or 5 times at least to fix the leak and it is still leaking. Also, now I have mold growing on some of my belongings stored in this room. I was wondering if I would be able to withhold rent until this is fixed and also if I could not pay a portion of my rent which would account for the use of the storage room which I am not able to utilize during this time? How would I go about this? Thanks in advance
                  Unless you have a state statute permitting you to withhold rent, your
                  remedy is a suit for damages for the part of the premises that is unusable.

                  Also, you may have a suit for damages for your goods. However, if you
                  didn't take steps to mitigate your damages (b/c it appears that you never
                  took the goods out of the room) you may not be able to claim those damages.
                  Additionally, your lease may have a provision relieving the l/l from
                  negligence. Depending on the layout of the premises, you may be able to
                  sue in trespass, getting around the negligence bar. But, if he's been put
                  on notice of the trespassing water, you obviously are aware of it, so your
                  goods should have been out of there, so once again you wouldn't have
                  mitigated your damages.

                  If a repair dragged out this long, I'd have the repairs made, and bill the
                  landlord. Regarding the damaged goods, I'd just make an insurance claim
                  and let them worry about the landlord through subrogation. If I had to
                  rent a shed to store goods, I'd bill the landlord for that as well. If he
                  doesn't pay, file a small claims case. If you win and he still doesn't
                  pay, get a rent garnishment and charge him for that process as well.

                  Comment

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