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Thread: Withholding Rent

  1. #1
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    Default 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. #2
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    Default 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.




  3. #3
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    Default Withholding Rent

    On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 14:46:28 -0500, "Richard" <anom@anom>
    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.


  4. #4
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    Default Withholding Rent


    "Todd" <matlabguru@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:a569f671.0309011023.62c83762@posting.google.c 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.



  5. #5
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    Default 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
    kaldis@worldnet.att.net

  6. #6
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    Default Withholding Rent

    Fish Tacos wrote:>>
    On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 14:46:28 -0500, "Richard" <anom@anom>
    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.




  7. #7
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    Default Withholding Rent

    On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 22:13:24 -0500, "Richard" <anom@anom>
    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.

  8. #8
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    Default Withholding Rent


    "Todd" <matlabguru@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:a569f671.0309011023.62c83762@posting.google.c 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





  9. #9
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    Default Withholding Rent

    matlabguru@yahoo.com (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.

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