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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    13,916

    Default Tenant Did Not Properly Report a Maintenance Issue, Deducted Repair Costs from Rent

    A tenant in Florida called his landlord to say that there was a problem in his unit, but he did not state what the problem was or that it was an emergency. He called back five hours later to indicate that he had fixed a problem in his unit himself. He has now deducted the cost of the parts he purchased for the repair from his rent. What can the landlord do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Tenant Did Not Properly Report a Maintenance Issue, Deducted Repair Costs from Re

    In theory, the landlord can serve him with a pay-or-quit notice for the unpaid rent, but this may not be the right hill to die on. If the repair was something for which the landlord is responsible, the landlord would have had to perform the repair (including the cost of parts) and may have also had to pay somebody to complete the repair, so this may actually have been cheaper than the alternative.

    The landlord should instruct the tenant on proper procedure for reporting maintenance problems, especially those requiring urgent attention, and that tenants are not authorized to perform repairs on their units as the repairs must be completed by an authorized person with appropriate skills and licensure.

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