Don’t Waste Your Money: Landlord Disputes

Don't Waste Your Money

(WHTM) — Imagine having a water leak in your rental home or apartment and no one will fix it. abc27 has an alert for all renters and what to do if a renter cannot get their problems fixed.

So, what if a landlord won’t fix a problem?

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Mia Manalili heads inside her rental home. At the top of the steps is her daughter’s room that Manalili says is uninhabitable because the ceiling is leaking rain and collapsing. Manalili says her daughter is lucky the ceiling did not fall onto her while she was sleeping.

‘That the biggest thing I have going on because I’ve got young ones,” Manalili said.

She says she has been complaining about water leaks for months before the ceiling came down.

“I have been calling them and say ‘hey there’s a bubble’,” Manalili said.

She wonders how long it can take a landlord to patch a leaky room. She worries that the next time there is heavy rain, the whole ceiling may cave in.

We reached out to the landlord, who told us in a statement, “the home has a slate roof, and slate repair companies are backed up. We hope to fix it very soon.”

So, what can renters do if a landlord won’t fix a serious issue?

“The tenant should put that in writing,” Dan McCarthy, real estate attorney, said.

McCarthy said shortly before the pandemic that renters should send the landlord a letter, give him 30 days to fix it, and visit the courthouse to open up an escrow account. That way, renters can withhold rent legally.

Manalili says her daughter now has nowhere to sleep. “It’s just not livable,” she said.

One caution: no matter how bad the conditions are in the apartment, renters cannot simply stop paying the rent, they can and will be evicted. As always, don’t waste your money.

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