What kind of rights do renters have?
February 26, 2007 7:13am CST
My hubby and I have yet to buy a house, as we do not know where we will be living, we have thought about it a lot, and we decided to rent until we are certain we will be staying still for at least 3 years. SO, we are renting a nice 3 bedroom in town. We like it a lot. We liked it so much we signed a 2 year lease. The one thing we are not crazy about however is the landlord. He's a nice enough guy, just doesn't like to repair things when they go wrong. We think his previous tenants just fixed everything themselves, as we found a leaking pipe that was covered in duct tape, and there was a broken doggie door that was fixed with the tape as well. At the beginning of the winter we had some problems with our heater, he came and "fixed" it, it was still broken, he came again and supposedly fixed it, yet it remained broken. He called a friend that repairs them, he "fixed" it, it worked for a couple days, then quit again. He finally called a professional, he fixed it, and it worked most of the winter. This last couple of weeks has been warm, so we tried to turn on the AC, it didn't work, we called the landlord, his reply "we've got plenty of time to worry about that, it's not hot out yet." I made the hubby call him, we're waiting on someone to come today. But Saturday night, it was chilly I went to turn on the heat, It wouldn't work.. at all. Anyone who lives in Oklahoma knows it's been cold out last night and the night before, I have two young children. We have a space heater, it went in the babies room, but No one has any more space heaters.. (at least not that we can find, we called around). So we bundled up the 2 year old, and the hubby and I slept close trying to stay warm. Hopefully the repair man will come soon, I think I can see my breath when I breathe. (: Anyways, the landlord always acts like WE did something to sabotage the equipment, it's getting irritating, but he does always fix it (eventually), what rights do we have as renters? I do not recall anything in our lease, and if there is nothing there are we basically on our own?
• United States
26 Feb 07
I used to work as a Rental Agent for a landlord who sounds pretty much like your landlord. He was always looking for the cheapest possible way to "fix" damaged equipment in people's apartments. I eventually quit the job because I felt that he was completely immoral and downright evil. As far as I know, you definitely have the right to have working heat in your home, and your landlord is responsible for providing working and safe equipment for that. If I were you, I would make a list of all the repairs that need to be made, and mail it to him. Give him a reasonable amount of time to make the repairs, and if he doesn't, don't pay your rent until he does. This is only legal on your part if the repairs that need to be made are for "necessary" things, such as heat. Good luck!
• United States
26 Feb 07
Thanks for your advice! I really appreciate it. The repairman that was supposed to come to my house today never showed, I guess he went to the wrong address, b/c he called my landlord and said that I denied him access, although I was home and he never came.. so hopefully they will be sending someone later on today, b/c Irealy don't want another freezing night. *sigh* Thanks again!