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  1. #1

    Default Landlord Will Not Repair Anything

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Saint Louis, Missouri

    Hello all,

    Need advice again. I have a client that has been living in a apartment complex for several years. Now this complex is a owned by a company that owns several mult-unit apartments in saint louis. It is not some small landlord. The maintence team, from what I've been told, is horrible. It took them several months just to repair a air conditioner. Currently, he has several problems. Now some are minor. The ceiling fan has broke in his living room, some electrical problems, and his bathroom toilet is leaking from the second floor to the kitchen. Its been leaking that way so long that the wall is soft to the touch and appears to have visiable blue green mold. He alerted them of this problem exactly three weeks ago. Nothing has been done. Here are the questions.

    1. Can he get this repaired by someone else like an actual independent company and take this from the rent legally?

    2. Is there any way he can get out of his lease. He has seven months left.

    3. Also, what would be a way to handle there horrible response rate?

    As usual thanks in advance for responses. Please no assumptions, I'm trying to get the best exact information for him as possible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Landlord Will Not Repair Anything

    As is explained in this guide (PDF):
    Quote Quoting Repairs
    A tenant may violate the lease and face eviction if he withholds rent until repairs are made.

    One way to avoid problems with repairs is to have a written agreement, preferably in your lease. The agreement should state which repairs are the landlord’s responsibility and which are the tenant’s.

    The landlord should be responsible for repairs caused by ordinary wear and tear and natural forces such as the weather. Tenants should pay for damages resulting from their own negligence or the negligence of a guest.

    If repairs are needed, ask the landlord to make repairs within a reasonable period of time. If repairs are not made, make a written request for the necessary repairs and keep a copy of the letter.

    If the repairs still are not made, the tenant may seek legal assistance. If the dwelling becomes unsafe due to the repair problems, the tenant should contact local health or housing authorities.

    If a tenant withholds rent payments until repairs are completed, the renter may be in violation of the lease and may be subject to eviction.

    Under very limited circumstances, the tenant may make repairs and deduct the cost from rent if the tenant:
    • Has lived on the property for at least six months.
    • Has paid all rent owed.
    • Is not in violation of the lease.
    • Has notified the landlord of the problem and has allowed at least 14 days for the landlord to respond.
    • Has, at the landlord’s request, received verification from city inspectors that the problem violates city code.

    If the landlord still does not fix the code violation within 14 days of receiving the city’s notice, then the tenant can proceed with the repairs.

    The amount of the repair must be verified by receipts. In most cases, the cost of repair must be less than $300 or one-half month’s rent (whichever is greater), and can be done once a year.

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