We have some major electrical problems in a house we are renting. The landlord absolutely refused to fix any?

of them so we withheld this months rent telling him we would pay it when the issues are fixed. We have the rent just don't want to pay it till he fixes them. Now he is saying if we just move out that he will give us our deposit back. I found out why he is offering this. Last month he put the house for sale, he told me the lady he brought over was from a property management company but she wasn't. She was obviously a realtor. The problems with the house is that none of the electrical outlets in my boys rooms work and neither do the ceiling lights (yes we have changed the light bulbs), none of the outlets throughout the house on the top outlet work. The kitchen outlets spark whenever you pull a plug out. The dryer smells like fire everytime its used and he was told, he checked it out when he came with the "property manager" realtor and just ignored the problem. Do I have any legal action here? If I move out I want more than my deposit back. I've made many improvements to his house when I moved in because he left it for us to move in, in a nasty filthy mess. Please let me know what my options are. Thanks.


I don't know why most (not all) are being so rude. Guess what rude ones??? He is giving us all the rent back except this month and the deposit!! Why is he doing this you might ask? Because he was breaking the law and rental requirements in our state. We have only lived here 4 months and have fixed all of the repairs we knew how but a major electrical repair was more than we could handle. My husband had his client (a lawyer) write up a letter stating all our state laws and the landlord agreed! I should've known better than to ask on yahoo answers where people are rude and hardly anyone knows what they are talking about.... however, thank you very much to the people who did help and give advice. I appreciate it!

Update 2:

Oh and to the a$$ who said I moved into the filthy house, indeed I did BUT we signed the lease before it was ready. He assured us he was hiring a professional cleaning company and then did it himself-horribly. Just so you know!

Update 3:

Dear Property Manager,

You apparently are not knowledgable on anything as far as state to state laws go. "It is ILLEGAL to withhold rent over repair issues without a court order in most states" In our state it is NOT "ILLEGAL" to withhold rent" as long as you have proof that you have made requests for such repairs and sent it by certified mail in writing to your landlord in which we did. We gave him 15 days to fix it which he did not do. In our state you are allowed LEGALLY to withhold rent until it is paid or save that rent to pay for the repairs yourself as the tenant. I did get written permission from him to do the repairs because I was furious at the conditions of the house after he had made verbal promises to have it all done a month prior when we signed the lease! Everything I did was legal and I have proof from a lawyer. As I said previously a letter was drawn and we are now getting every cent paid back! I hope none of you ever get screwed over by a slumlord. Although I'm sure

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    when you moved in, was a there a town requirement for a occupancy permit inspection? many cities have those - those that do, do not allow you to move in until any problems are fixed - I would just move out and then contact teh real estate agent and tell her about all the problems - sounds like owner is trying to hide those facts, but anyone looking to buy who has half a brain will get the building inspected by a professional before sealing any deal

  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Rent To Own Homes : http://RentToOwnHome.iukiy.com/?aFfJ
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You have no options until you pay the rent. It is ILLEGAL to withhold rent over repair issues without a court order in most states. Yes, landlords are required to make needed repairs but tenants MUST go through the proper procedures to force them to. You have no legal standing as long as you are illegally withholding the rent.

    It does not matter if the house was put up for sale. No landlord is ever required to tell a tenant that a house they are renting is put on the sale market. Most do out of courtesy but it is not legally required.

    "If I move out I want more than my deposit back." NOT going to happen. You are not legally entitled to any money back on any improvements you have made. You simply lose that money. That is what happens when you fix up a place you do not own.

    Cut your loses, get your deposit back and move on. You are not entitled to anything more.

    Source(s): I'm a property manager.
  • 9 years ago

    Oh my. What are your rights ? You abrogated any such rights when you decided to 'withhold rent payments'. You have NO rights to do so. Your litany of 'complaints' is irrelevant. You need to understand the conditions of 'habitability'. Such only indicate that your premises must be SAFE in which to live. That some lights do not work does not indicate that a safety issue exists.

    "Sparking outlets' when you remove a plug ? LOL....I live in a house which has impecabble electrical requirements, and now and then, a spark will occur when I unplug something.

    Will you get more than your deposit back? NOT a chance. That you made 'improvements' means nothing. Sorry.

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  • LILL
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It is ILLEGAL to withhold rent unless you follow certain legal requirements for your state. Withholding rent without following these requirements only opens yourself up to an eviction.

    Legal action?? I doubt it. You accepted the "nasty filthy mess" by moving in. Your options were to call code enforcement and/or have the home inspected.

    Improvement??? Hope you got these approved by your landlord. If not, he/she can sue you for altering the property. Don't expect the be reimbursed unless this was agreed to...IN WRITING.

    Your options are to follow the laws for your state. You are NOT the judge and jury.

  • 9 years ago

    he should be evicting you for non-payment, not pansyass offers to let you move.

    When you move out the landlord deducts what you owe him, plus damage and cleaning fees. Unless your deposit was huge you will not be getting anything back. I would guess you will end up owing him money and he will end up garnishing your wages for it.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You have no right to "more than your deposit back." If you made improvements on your own, that was just dumb. He's under no obligation to reimburse you for improvements that he didn't authorize in writing first.

  • 3 years ago
  • 6 years ago

    hey landlord, you must be one of those slum lords to be able to assess the situation above. First of all it is against the law to not fix the dangerous items in your home or apt by law from the landlord. Tenants have legal rights with this issue. And you can with hold rent for certain claims. Do you even know the laws ? I doubt it. If you do, then tell us 3 laws that a landlord cannot break in order for a tenant to with hold rent ? Furthermore, if a landlord does this, now it becomes a retaliation issue. So if I were you, I would learn your laws a little bit more, they might come in handy in case you find yourself up against a tenant that knows his or hers rights..Dummy !!!!

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