Not Getting Landlord Help With Repairs!

By beatlesgirl1964

My husband and I just moved into our new place of residence in May of this year.  It is the upper level of an upper and lower duplex.  Our landlord is an older woman, probably in late 60’s to mid 70’s.  When we viewed the place before we moved in, she was anxious to get new people in.  She stated that all the appliances have been worked on, and that she put alot of money in to getting repairs with previous tenants.  She also stated that she wasn’t going to be willing to put much more money into the place due to the amounts she had invested already.  She also shared that if there were problems, that we could fix them ourselves, and we could take it out of the next months rent.  We gave her a $700.00 deposit, and rent is $700.00 a month.  We signed no lease, and she said she doesn’t usually deal with leases when we inquired, saying that we looked like “honest people.”
Upon moving in, we have had the timer and heating element go out of the stackable washer and dryer unit.  She OK’d the repairman to fix it, but since then the timer has started to go bad again, and the front panel to where all the wiring is, has broken off and we now duck tape it to keep it closed! The dishwasher is old, and after asking every other day for about two weeks, the repair man did mimimal work to the dishwasher and said that it’s too old and not worth repairing further.  That has since broken again.  The stove (electric) has one burner that doesn’t work, and the oven doesn’t heat to to the correct temperature, but that’s not a battle I’m going to take on, as it still does it’s job for the most part.  About half of the windows in the place have no screens, all of the fire alarms are broken, and without working components.  The tub and shower combo, have sliding doors.  When someone showers, water leaks out of the front left hand  corner of the tub, on the outside, and leaks down the door frame and onto the seal of the side and bottom of the tub on the outside.
The new problem is we have a hole and leak in one of the closets in the bedroom.  Which has revealed an approximately 2-2.5 inch hole in the cieling of the closet.
I am very concerned, as the problems keep piling up, and some of this work we are not experienced enough, or have the cash on hand to call someone to deal with this.  I do not know what to do here, nor what my rights as a renter are, since there is so standing lease; just the words that have bene exchnaged between us, and of course a hand shake.
She doens’t answer her phone, and only twice since we have moved in, has she returned my phone calls.
My view is, as a landlord, if there are appliancs that are not working properly, or have died, it’s their job to replace or repair.  As well as any electronics or structural problems.  I am almost ready to move before the winter and cold hit (we live in Iowa.)  But I am afriad that we would not be getting our deposit back, as she said she would like us here for at least a year.
We could really use and appreciate some good advice.

Edited on: Friday, August 12th, 2011 7:09 pm

One Response to “Not Getting Landlord Help With Repairs!”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


February 10th, 2011 9:26 am

I hope you are out of your apartment by now but if you are still there and nothing has happened I think you should know that since no lease was signed it is automatically a month to month rental. So, she cannot keep your deposit if you don’t stay there. Just give her a 30 day notice.
Also, the non working fire alarms are hazardous and you should contact your local fire dept. as they will check them and all the others in her building and make her fix them.
Hope that helps even if its a little late!


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