Renters – What To Do If Your Landlord Won’t Make Repairs

What can you do if your rental property needs repair and the landlord is ignoring your requests? Before we go any further understand that in virtually every state, the landlord is not required to repairing damages done by the tenant or their guests. If you broke it you will need to fix it. Small cosmetic repairs are usually not covered. So don’t stop paying rent because you have a chip in your kitchen cabinet or the rugs are dirty.

The first step is to call the landlord and report the repairs needed. You must also send a detailed letter. In the letter be clear and precise regarding the repairs. Stick to the facts and don’t go off on a long rant. If the repairs are not completed, this letter may become evidence in court.

We strongly suggest sending the letter by certified mail and keep a copy of the letter for your records. Many states have deadlines by which the repairs must be completed, the letter will start the clock. A phone call is not enough, because a landlord can simply claim he never received any phone calls.

Repair Remedies

Not all state or county laws allow the following. There is a link at the end of the article to find your states laws regarding repairs. We cannot stress enough the importance of contacting an attorney prior to initiating any self-help remedies. There are usually free legal services in most areas that can give you guidance. If the repairs are life threatening, you should move out and contact your local code enforcement office or health department.

Escrow Rent

If escrowing rent is allowed, it is one of the best ways to get your landlords attention. When you escrow the rent it means you will be holding the rent instead of paying it to the landlord. DON’T SPEND THE RENT MONEY!

You must place your monthly rent into a bank account. In some states you can simply keep it in your own bank account, others require a separate account be opened expressly for this purpose and some require you to escrow the funds with an attorney. Send a copy of the bank statement to the landlord showing the rent was placed in escrow. If the landlord makes the repairs you will need to release the funds held in escrow.

Unfortunately many times you are caught in a stalemate. The landlord won’t make the repairs because you aren’t paying the rent, and you won’t pay the rent because the landlord isn’t making the repairs. In most cases the landlord will start an eviction, but this is to your benefit.

You must attend the eviction hearing. At the eviction hearing you will have an opportunity to tell the judge or mediator about the repair issues. Bring photos of the problems and if the repairs are not visible, such as a broken heater, try to bring a witness. It is vitally important that you bring bank statements showing the monthly rent was placed in escrow. If you don’t the judge will find in favor of the landlord and you will be evicted. Also bring a copy of the letter you sent to the landlord.

If the judge finds in your favor, they will usually order the landlord to make the repairs and you must agree to release the escrowed rent upon completion. In some jurisdictions an agreement is drafted that you and the landlord, or their representative, will need to sign. Even if you reach an agreement they will sometimes schedule another hearing. If the issues are still not resolved by the next hearing date, you will need to go back to court.

Sometimes the judge may give you the option of moving out. You may need to release the escrowed rent if you agree to move out. The judge will usually order the landlord to release the security deposit after you pay the rent and move out.

The court may also decide the repairs are not the landlords responsibility. In this case you will also need to release the escrowed rent or face eviction.

Repair and Deduct

In some states you are allowed to make repairs and deduct the costs from your rent. Many states limit the amount you can deduct for repairs. Prior to doing the repairs yourself, you need to inform the landlord in writing of the repairs needed and allow sufficient time for the landlord to make the repairs. If the repairs remain unresolved then send another letter informing the landlord you intend to have the repairs made and deduct them from the rent.

You should get three estimates in writing from licensed professionals, and get a copy of the contractor’s license and any permits, if required. If the landlord takes you to court you will need to bring all of this information.

Once the repairs are completed send a copy of the receipt for the repairs and copies of the estimates to your landlord along with a letter informing them of the amount that will be deducted from the rent. Retain copies of everything you send to the landlord.

Essential Services

Essential services such as heat, hot water and utilities (if the landlords is responsible for them) must be maintained by the landlord under virtually every state law. Contact your local health department or code enforcement department if the landlord fails to maintain essential services. The agencies will usually inspect the property and notify the landlord of the violations. If they still fail to make the repairs or restore services, the remedies stated above may be used if allowed in your jurisdiction.

Move Out

We are not suggesting breaking your lease. However if you are having repair issues and your lease is about to expire or you are month to month, you should consider moving. Failure to maintain a property is an indication the landlord is having financial difficulties. More problems will arise. You don’t want your quality of life impacted because of your landlords financial problems.

To find the repair remedies allowed in your state, visit http://www.rentsmartadvisors.com/tenant-rights/rental-repair-and-maintenance/. You may have additional rights provide under county or city codes. Again, please consult with and attorney before implementing any self-help remedies.

10 Most Common iPod Repairs

The greatest advantage and disadvantage of an iPod is its small shape. For such a small gadget, the iPod holds can hold thousands of mp3 files. With its portability, the increase of mishaps is sure to happen. From common scratches to hard drive problems, an iPod’s biggest selling point can also be its greatest drawback.

Detailed below are the most common repair issues:

1. Getting Dropped: It’s as easy as giving it to someone to look at or even slipping out of your pocket. Dropping an iPod can happen anytime. This can result in minor aesthetic issues that can be ignored or to greater hard drive issues that have to be sent to a specialist for repair.

2. Getting Scratched: Scratching an iPod is as easy as scratching a cell phone. With its increased daily use, the iPod is not just used on occasion, but is a regular accessory.

3. Falling in Water: How many times have you dropped your cell in phone in water? Nowadays, dropping an iPod in water can happen just as easy.

4. Exposure to Extreme Weather Conditions: Depending on where you live, weather conditions can affect your iPod. From the large amount of rain in Seattle to the snowy weather in the NorthEast, or even the blazing sun in the South, any harsh weather condition can affect your iPod and can cause needed repairs.

5. Dirt: With regular use, dirt can accumulate in the iPod. Cleaning is needed in many cases.

6. Bending: Even though there is an increase in clothing designers catering to the iPod user by designing storage units in many jackets, shirts and pants, bending and cracking can happen. Many people keep their iPods in their back pockets and mishaps can happen when sitting.

7. Broken Screens: One of the leading repairs is LCD repair. Breaking or cracking of the screen can happen in so many ways, accidentally or even with just normal use.

8. Hard Drives: The most costly repair is the hard drive. For whatever reason, these gadgets can stop working like normal. A hard drive upgrade or replacement may be needed.

9. Headphone Sockets: With continual use, the headphone socket may become loose or even broken. Repair is needed since it is the source for listening.

10. Battery: With time, the battery life may become too short or even have battery malfunctions. A battery upgrade may be needed.

These are just some of the problems you may face with an iPod. With care and forward thinking, many of these can be limited. To lessen iPod repair issues, be sure to use a protective case and use care and caution.

Tips For Garage Door Repairs

You can use many ways to protect and safeguard your house. Among other parts of the house the needs protection is garage where you can park your car when it’s not needed. Garages need your attention; they should be maintained on a regular basis. The first thing you need to pay attention to is the garage door. If the garage door is dysfunctional, your garage may be more prone to theft. So, it is important for you to you hire the services of a professional for garage door repairs. But the question is, how can a professional keep your garage safe? Read on to find out the answer.

Garage doors

If the torsion and opening springs of your garage are not working properly, your garage will be at the mercy of thieves. After getting the problem fixed, you can have peace of mind, as no one except you will be able to open the door and get in. As a result, your garage will be safe.

Installation of sensors

Another great method employed by professionals is the safety sensors. The sensors will sound an alarm as soon as someone tries to get an unauthorized access to your garage. The safety sensors are not costly and can be easily installed.

Remote control

If you have remotely controlled doors but they are not working properly, you can call a garage door repair service. If you don’t have the remote control feature, you can get doors with this feature installed with ease.

Remote control doors can be opened or closed with a remote control. If you want to benefit from this feature, you may want to contact a service provider. Without any doubt, this type of doors makes it easier for you to use your garage and keep it safe at all times.

Can you install all the security devices yourself? If you are a novice, it may be close to impossible for you. Plus, if you have no idea how to install this type of equipment, you might end up damaging the device or getting hurt. Therefore, to be on the safe side, getting the services of a professional is a stroke of genius.

You can get anti-burglar alarms installed, for instance, to ensure the safety of your garage even when you are out of home or city. No one will be able to break in as long as your garage door is protected by an anti-burglar alarm. If anyone makes an attempt to get in your house, the security system will notify the security service pros and they will come to your house in a few minutes. So, these security systems provide you with 24/7 security.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time that you do something to secure your garage, especially the garage doors. Choosing a good garage door repairs service is not so easy. You need to do your research before deciding to hire a certain service. Keep all the important factors in mind and then make this decision.