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Drawing the line with Landlord (legal question)

suited

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My building has serious maintenance issues. It's a pretty nice building in a downtown area, and I pay quite a bit of rent per month for this area-so the service I'm getting is surprisingly bad. I've had countless problems with maintenance since I moved here in August...

-My heat has broken on 3 separate occasions (middle of winter)

-I've had 3 different leaks in my roof, one of which took them over a month to fix and still isn't completely fixed. The most recent leak was suppose to be fixed today, their guy they outsource too didn't call or show up, go figure.

-Front Gate broke, essentially trapping me outside since I my garage door opener was in my car which is under the building in the parking deck, luckily I'm able to climb the gate. If I had been a woman or an out of shape guy, I wouldn't have been able to get in my building.

-Garage door broke, trapping about 50% of the residents inside for 2 days. Luckily I was still job hunting at this point and didn't have to miss work because of this.

Legally speaking, since they're not fixing the leaks in the roof, they're violating their part of the lease and I'm not entitled to pay rent-as I understand. From what I hear, I can pay my rent to the courthouse and they'll hold it until the dispute is resolved (my leaks fixed). My uncle does contract law and I was going to consult him, but there's also the issue of not wanting to piss off these people because I may be dealing with them for several years. What would you guys do?
 

hamish5178

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You know, I had just forgotten how stupid, weak, and helpless every female on this planet is. Thank you for reminding me.
 

suited

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Originally Posted by hamish5178
You know, I had just forgotten how stupid, weak, and helpless every female on this planet is. Thank you for reminding me.

haha. Well, in this situation, it's true. The gate is about 6ft tall with nothing around it to climb, and there's no place on the gate to step. You essentially just have to jump up and lift yourself over with your hands.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by suited
My building has serious maintenance issues. It's a pretty nice building in a downtown area, and I pay quite a bit of rent per month for this area-so the service I'm getting is surprisingly bad. I've had countless problems with maintenance since I moved here in August...

-My heat has broken on 3 separate occasions (middle of winter)

-I've had 3 different leaks in my roof, one of which took them over a month to fix and still isn't completely fixed. The most recent leak was suppose to be fixed today, their guy they outsource too didn't call or show up, go figure.

-Front Gate broke, essentially trapping me outside since I my garage door opener was in my car which is under the building in the parking deck, luckily I'm able to climb the gate. If I had been a woman or an out of shape guy, I wouldn't have been able to get in my building.

-Garage door broke, trapping about 50% of the residents inside for 2 days. Luckily I was still job hunting at this point and didn't have to miss work because of this.

Legally speaking, since they're not fixing the leaks in the roof, they're violating their part of the lease and I'm not entitled to pay rent-as I understand. From what I hear, I can pay my rent to the courthouse and they'll hold it until the dispute is resolved (my leaks fixed). My uncle does contract law and I was going to consult him, but there's also the issue of not wanting to piss off these people because I may be dealing with them for several years. What would you guys do?


This sucks, sorry to hear it. I rented for many years as a student and had to sometimes deal with really scummy landlords because in my early years I didn't have too much money. You seem like a professional who has certain expectations, and you mentioned that you might have to live there for several years. I can tell you from my experience and the expereince of my friends, that you need to just get the fuck out. These people don't give a shit about you, quite clearly. When it has to get legal, then you know it's over. Save yourself the heartache. It's worth it to pay a little more, even if you're playing a lot now to get into a building with a great landlord or one of those corporate owned buildings where they treat you like gold.

Just believe me, you really need to move. If you don't want to, then you seem like you have gotten some good advice on how to get serious, but I'd still recommend that you leave.
 

indy116

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Originally Posted by SField
When it has to get legal, then you know it's over. Save yourself the heartache. It's worth it to pay a little more, even if you're playing a lot now to get into a building with a great landlord or one of those corporate owned buildings where they treat you like gold.

Just believe me, you really need to move. If you don't want to, then you seem like you have gotten some good advice on how to get serious, but I'd still recommend that you leave.


Yea, when lawyers and courts have to get involved, there won't be an amicable ending and you'll just be hating life for several years.

I've rented all my life and have always made sure I've moved in to professionally managed places (apartment complexes) after my very first landlord was super lazy in doing repairs. Have NEVER had to wait more than 24 hours for a repair to be completed since. I pay the rent on time, they fix shit on time. In the place I'm in, I complained the kitchen sink is leaking early on Saturday morning using an online form, went out for the day, and came back to a new faucet.

You'll probably want to look up a landlord-tenant handbook or something for your state and see what it says about withholding rent and all that. It may be that you can pay for the repairs and deduct from the rent. I guess that's where the lawyer will come in handy.
 

suited

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Good suggestions. When I say "landlord", I really mean the company that manages the property. They have 5 properties in the Columbus area. I just figured they would have better service. I really love the space, so moving would be a last resort. I'll see what I can do without going the legal route.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by suited
Good suggestions. When I say "landlord", I really mean the company that manages the property. They have 5 properties in the Columbus area. I just figured they would have better service. I really love the space, so moving would be a last resort. I'll see what I can do without going the legal route.

Honestly, I think you're being an idiot by staying.
 

suited

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Originally Posted by SField
Honestly, I think you're being an idiot by staying.

There isn't an abundance of downtown living in Columbus. If this were a bigger city and I had a ton of places to choose from, it might be different.
 

Orsini

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I recommend you cut your losses and bug out. These guys will never change and, afer you have squacked a few time, will give you a 60-day get-out notice.
 

Gradstudent78

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Originally Posted by suited
My building has serious maintenance issues. It's a pretty nice building in a downtown area, and I pay quite a bit of rent per month for this area-so the service I'm getting is surprisingly bad. I've had countless problems with maintenance since I moved here in August...

-My heat has broken on 3 separate occasions (middle of winter)

-I've had 3 different leaks in my roof, one of which took them over a month to fix and still isn't completely fixed. The most recent leak was suppose to be fixed today, their guy they outsource too didn't call or show up, go figure.

-Front Gate broke, essentially trapping me outside since I my garage door opener was in my car which is under the building in the parking deck, luckily I'm able to climb the gate. If I had been a woman or an out of shape guy, I wouldn't have been able to get in my building.

-Garage door broke, trapping about 50% of the residents inside for 2 days. Luckily I was still job hunting at this point and didn't have to miss work because of this.

Legally speaking, since they're not fixing the leaks in the roof, they're violating their part of the lease and I'm not entitled to pay rent-as I understand. From what I hear, I can pay my rent to the courthouse and they'll hold it until the dispute is resolved (my leaks fixed). My uncle does contract law and I was going to consult him, but there's also the issue of not wanting to piss off these people because I may be dealing with them for several years. What would you guys do?


You should send them a request to fix everything in writing if you already haven't done so.
 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by Gradstudent78
You should send them a request to fix everything in writing if you already haven't done so.

I don't think he wants it fixed in writing. He wants it all fixed in the building!
 

jgold47

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Originally Posted by Orsini
I recommend you cut your losses and bug out. These guys will never change and, afer you have squacked a few time, will give you a 60-day get-out notice.

On what basis? He has a lease - LL just cant terminate you for being a pain in the ass. He might not let them renew, but he cant term you.


Originally Posted by Gradstudent78
You should send them a request to fix everything in writing if you already haven't done so.

yes, document, document, document. send them a certified letter with everything listed. thats the first and best thing you can do to protect yourself.

The second thing I would do is look in your lease for the landlord obligations sections. sometimes they spell out how long they have to fix a problem before remedies kick in. See if there is a section for self help. I doubt it as this applies mostly to commerical leases, but i have seen it in some residential leases. it basically says that if the LL doesnt fix the problem within X days, you can have it fixed and offset your rent.

Third, you can escrow your rent untill your problems are fixed, but you have to file a court document (I think) stating your intention, and your eventually going to ask the court to rule on your behalf to keep a portion of your rent (which means lawyer).

Finally, and I am assuming you live in Columbus, OH and not GA - there will very likely be a Landlord-Tenant relations 'group' associated with the university. search them out, they will have all kinds of resources availble to you for free or for a fee that should spell out your rights, and they are a great resource for just this kind of thing. Since its more for students getting screwed by slumlords, its mostly staffed with students, law students and pro-bono lawyers, so you get good young agressive people who will help you for cheap just to get the experiance.
 

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