Landlord won’t fix possible health concern

By Maggie

In my rental agreement it clearly states that the landlord "agrees to make repair and do what is necessary to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition as specified in South Carolina Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The Landlord further agrees to maintain in reasonably good and safe working condition, all electrical… supplied by him." Back in May, two things happened, my son was born and my lease was up. We told the landlord that all winter we had problems controlling the electric bill and after a consultation with the electric company it was determined that the windows and lack of insulation were the problem. We stated that we would resign the lease under the premise that these issues would be fixed. In July and August I reminded the property company of this, they said it would be taken care of. Now it is September and still nothing. I purposely with held my rent until the woman from the property company called me to see about when I would be paying. I told her that my car was broken down and that if she wanted the money, she could come to the property, look at the windows and see the problem, then I would pay. She stated that this was a problem and she would get the owner of the property to fix it right away. Two weeks later I get a voicemail saying that the owner is not going to replace the windows or insulate the attic, that I can however buy plexiglass and plastic to put in the windows, (hopefully that will work)that the cost that I have to pay for that will not be deducted from my rent, and as a reminder I owe them a late fee. What are my rights? From my resonable understanding, drafty windows (by the way it isn’t one or two, it’s ALL of them!) and insulation are mandatory "essential services" that need to be available in the property. I am not going another winter with $250+ electric bills. If the landlord can’t afford to fix the windows then that is fine, I understand that. But I want to be let out of my lease with my full security deposit ($1425) back so that I can move somewhere safe for my 5 month old son. Can this be done? How do I go about doing it? Am I doing something wrong? Help me PLEASE!!!!

Edited on: Friday, March 9th, 2012 4:14 pm

4 Responses to “Landlord won’t fix possible health concern”

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

Maggie

June 9th, 2009 7:04 am

AND NOW THEY ARE TRYING TO SERVE ME WITH AN EVICTION NOTICE! I PAID MY RENT! HOW IN THE WORLD IS THIS LEGAL?!?!?!?!??!


Richard

June 9th, 2009 7:04 am

Well, is this legal? Many times I see that question through these landlord tenant forums. Part of the problem is that what you consider to be a vital repair, may be considered an upgrade to the landlord. I am unaware of any law that requires landlords to provide double pained windows. Drafts are common from single pain windows. If the windows are broken, the landlord will need to fix them… but even the insulation around windows is not regulated.


Richard

June 9th, 2009 7:05 am

I just noticed your CAPITALIZED REPLY… Landlords can evict tenants for various reasons, not paying rent is the most common, however, its not the only valid option to evict a tenant. You mentioned that rent was paid late, so in essence you broke the lease agreement by not paying ontime as agreed upon in the lease agreement. Yes, you can be evicted, it is legal- when its justified.


MM

August 29th, 2009 10:41 am

Moved in on April 17 called TXU to set up electric in my name. A month goes by no bill then I call and June 3 electric in then put in my name. Upon receiving electric bills I am in a 808 sq ft apartment. My bill shows for 11 days in April my bill is $197.00 $362.50 and 232.83. I called TXU to stated there is a major problem using 3900 of kilwats. Requested for someone to come out and read the meter. The told me would take up to 10 days and I have 3 more days for that. I also spoke with the management and stated there is a major problem with my electric bill. I need maintenance to come out an inspect. It took them 20 days to come out. They mentioned to maintenance men came out and nothing was wrong. I then hired an A/C man to come out and paid him $52.00 and he found the following: Check a/c found a leak on feed line in return air duck and was duct taped to try and repair. I then took the service order to the management office (which is offsight) they sent the maintenance man to come out and he stated exactly what the A/C repair guy said and stated he repaired the problem. I called for todays to the management office and they finally called me back. She stated that small problem would not have that much to do with my high electric bill. She also stated it was a new air conditioner. I asked when it was installed and did they test it before I moved in. She would not answer me. She said since the electric was not put in my name in time which the amount is outrageous showing it is in their name she wants me to set up a payment plan. Even though it is obvious the bill is outragious and something is very wrong. She told she would not take my rent until I set up a payment plan……I then asked my next door neighbor this morning and he me there were two tenants before me that left and broke their lease for the same electric problem……If they won’t take my rent and I know in 3 days the meter guy is coming and my rent will be late, what is the best advice for me……..The management intentially new of the electric problem and are acting oblivious to the whole situation. MY rent is no more than $525.00 and my electric this month is $478.00……..Is time to hire a rental right lawyer?


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