Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 1 decade ago

Can I withhold partial rent for maintenance not being done?

The apartment above me has a water leak and water is coming out of my bathroom wall onto the floor. Now my wall has water damage, and mold is starting to grow on ceiling. I've reported the issue over a month ago, and still haven't gotten fixed. Am I able to withhold rent or partial rent payments until it is fixed? Are they obligated to fix within a certain time period when I report maintenance issues? Thanks

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Mold would not be visiable growing only a month, you do nto need to worry about that.

    You have some mildew that needs some bleach and you need to venilate the bathroom, I would hit it with a fan.

    No, you can not withhold rent in any state for an issue with your ceiling. Even in states that allow this it is for very specific things, and this would not count.

    However take some pictures down to the office, you need some new sheet rock and they need to make sure the wood behind has dried out so there is no dry rot later.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Check your states Landlord/Tenant laws. It'd be in your best interest to report it in writing noting the date of first report, I personally would submit a few photos of current damages. Deliver in person if possible, Keep dated copies of everything submited for yourself. I don't know of a state that would not consider it a "Habitability Issue". I would think "water leaking" for over a month would surely be reflected on the Water bill, in that case management should be highly motivated to locate the culprit !, Unless of course its leaking from an outgoing pipe "Gray water" now there's an issue for the Building Inspector, Health Dept,and a Judge in most any state!. Especially if the upstairs apts bathroom is directly above yours, yuck!. My state does allow "Witholding"," Repair and Deduct" as well several other remedies depending on the specific issues and proper notice telling Mgmt/LL that you plan to excercise your rights under the law. So you better find out what they are . PLEASE put it in writing even if you have previously. Otherwise they may claim your negligence to "properly report "caused the damage. Yes, they are obligated to make necessary repairs in a timely manor, things like "water leaks coming through a wall" require immediate attention. "Reasonable Time" is long since past, your issue in my state would need to be addressed within 24 hrs. It has probally been going on for sometime to cause visible water damage on the wall and pool on the floor, I have NO DOUBT you have mold and mildew too!. Bleach does not fix either problem, it may temporarily mask it, the moisture in the wall causes the mold/mildew. Until the leak is properly fixed and the interior structure of the wall inspected and allowed to dry out completely, the mold/mildew will reappear as humidity is the fuel and it is a "Bath"room.Best of Luck !

    Source(s): As a past LL / Mgr. my job was to protect and preserve Owners Property and maintain each residence for the Health,Safety,and peaceful enjoyment of the Tenant.
  • 1 decade ago

    Withholding rent is not allowed in all states.

    Even if your state allows rent withholding, there are specific steps and requirements that must be met before doing so.

    You need to look up your state's landlord tenant laws and see exactly what the laws are for landlord repairs and maintenance & rent withholding.

    Generally, you should notify your landlord of any repairs needed in writing. You want a papertrail as proof.

    Some states give a set amount of time in which the landlord must make repairs, other states just state the repairs need to be made within a reasonable amount of time.

    If the landlord fails to make the needed repairs, the next step would be to call the local building/housing inspector.

    The inspector has the authority to give the landlord a violation notice, force the landlord to make repairs and fine him if he fails to do so.

    The inspector also has the authority to decide if the repair issue affects the habitability of the apartment His report is what you need if you are going to withold rent or take the issue to court.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can ONLY withhold rents if your particular state statutes allow for such. Some states have provisions for this and others do not. If your state does not allow such, then you need to inform management that you will seek assistance from your municipal housing authority to 'encourage' the landlord to move in a more rapid fashion.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can.....but you have to establish an account into which you put the money in escrow pending repairs. You cannot just say you won't pay until it's fixed. Contact your housing assoc. such as HUD. or legal aid to help. That is Ohio law. other states may vary:)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can withhold TOTAL rent.

    Deposit it into a MARKED ESCROW account...

    and give them the BACK RENT when repairs are done to your satisfaction.

    I'm assuming you've already giving them sufficient time to rectify the situation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Not without the permission of the court.

    Call the health department.

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