Do I Have To Pay Rent If My Landlord Won’t Fix Anything?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Dealing with an unreasonable landlord is something that millions of people have had to go through. It’s a stressful situation where tenants often feel powerless and even desperate. Do I have to pay rent if my landlord won’t fix anything?

In most states, you don’t have to pay rent if your landlord won’t fix anything. Landlords are required to fix major repairs within a couple of days, or the same day for major electrical and plumbing emergencies. You can withhold rent if your state allows it, or you can pay for the repairs and deduct the cost from your rent.

Reach out to a lawyer if your landlord won’t fix anything and your apartment becomes uninhabitable. They may face legal troubles if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development finds living conditions to be dire. Follow along as we highlight what you need to do if your landlord won’t fix anything.

How Long Does A Landlord Have To Fix Something?

Landlords have up to 30 days to fix most repairs. However, they typically only have 3-7 days to fix serious problems. Anything that can damage the apartment or harm the tenants is considered a serious problem in a rental property. This includes everything from burst pipes and electrical damage to plumbing fixtures that don’t work.

Make sure to contact your landlord as soon as you notice anything that is damaged. Screenshot or document the initial point of reference, so you can show how long it took for them to act if they don’t repair it right away.

What Can I Do If My Landlord Won’t Fix Anything?

Make Repairs

You can make repairs if your landlord won’t fix anything. In this case, you can deduct the cost of the repairs from your monthly rent. Make sure to keep your receipts and show them to your landlord.

Your landlord may try to fight this, but you must stand your ground. Reasonable landlords shouldn’t have a problem with this, but they may dispute the charges. Document all of your communication with your landlord and itemize the costs of the materials and repairs you make.

Check State Laws

Check your state’s tenant laws if your landlord won’t fix anything. Many states let tenants withhold rent when landlords refuse to make necessary repairs. However, you must check your state’s laws to make sure you don’t violate them.

For example, you may face late fees and even get evicted if you withhold rent from your landlord. This is true even if they don’t fix anything in some states, so do some research and look up your state’s laws before you withhold rent.

Report Your Landlord

If your landlord won’t budge, it’s time to report them. You can report your landlord to several organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They offer a Multifamily Housing Complaint Line that accepts calls about shady landlords.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development may send officials out to investigate the property. Otherwise, they may simply reach out to your landlord and inform them that a claim was made. It doesn’t always yield quick results, but it’s an important step if you haven’t made any progress and need to get out of your lease without losing your deposit.

Contact A Lawyer

Contact a lawyer if your landlord won’t fix anything and you live in an uninhabitable environment. You can do this in conjunction with reporting your landlord to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, it’s important to provide your lawyer with as much proof as possible that your landlord won’t fix anything.

Keep track of all your communications with your landlord and document the timeline to show how long it took for you to make repairs. Granted, this should be your last resort because hiring a lawyer is an expensive process. However, it’s worthwhile if you have the extra money to spend and want to be compensated for the transgressions your landlord has made against you.

Move Somewhere Else

It’s no secret that some landlords wait to make repairs because they simply want to get rid of a tenant. This is an unethical practice, and it can get them in legal trouble, but it’s also a sign that you should move out. There is no reason to stay in an apartment managed by a landlord who won’t fix anything and forces you to live in an uncomfortable environment.

However, you should do everything you can to make sure you get your deposit back. If they refuse, you can follow the previous step and enlist the help of a lawyer. This is an annoying process, but you will feel relieved when you move somewhere else with a landlord who respects your needs.

Can I Withhold Rent If My AC Is Broken?

You can only withhold rent if your AC is broken for a couple of days without them repairing it. A broken AC is considered a serious problem because it affects the comfort and livability of your home. However, it’s important to look up your state’s laws and see if you can lawfully withhold rent if your landlord won’t fix your broken AC.

Can A Landlord Make You Pay For Repairs?

A landlord can make you pay for repairs if the damages are the direct result of something you did. For example, your landlord may require you to pay for toilet repairs if the plumber determines that you flushed improper items down the toilet. You may also be financially responsible for appliance repairs if you treat them poorly and cause them to break.

This is most common when tenants neglect to clean the dryer’s lint trap or run the garbage disposal when the sink drain is overflowing. In some cases, landlords may try to charge you if you don’t let them know about damages that need to be repaired. This is especially true if they only discover the problems after you move out, and you won’t likely get your deposit back.

However, you can easily make a case for yourself if you hire a lawyer in this case. Many tenants aren’t aware of how certain appliances and HVAC systems work, so it’s not up to you to diagnose problems, and you can argue that in court.

Summing It Up

You don’t have to pay rent in many states if your landlord won’t fix anything. However, you must check online or contact your state to see if that applies to where you live. Landlords must typically make repairs within a few days if they are major. Contact a lawyer or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development if your landlord won’t fix anything within a reasonable timeframe.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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