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Old 04-25-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
657 posts, read 1,776,163 times
Reputation: 184

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my issue(s) aren't too complicated, but I am unsure of what to do for my next move. I have signed a one year lease back in January in Fredericksburg, VA. January and February went smoothly, but in March things started to break in the house. I have no AC or heat. I was also promised a washer/dryer upon moving in. My landlord refuses to speak to me on the phone or answer any texts. I am current with my rent, but I don't want to have to go through the summer without AC. And, not having a washer/dryer is slowly becoming more a hassle. I have been in contact with a lawyer who says to repair everything myself, but I am more inclined to get out as I see this being an ongoing issue. Do I have the right to leave and nullify the lease? I was debating on whether or not to withhold May's rent to at least get him to contact me, but I am worried about late payments etc. Any advice would be appreciated.

thanks
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Mount Laurel
4,187 posts, read 10,877,694 times
Reputation: 3503
What is in the lease?

You need to review it. Does it state washer/dryer included? If it's verbal agreement then it won't hold.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,857 posts, read 62,122,460 times
Reputation: 19294
You need to send a certified, delivery receipt confirmation letter to the landlord. If her refuses to receive it, keep it unopened as evidence once you get to court. In your letter, lay out your complaints and give him a deadline on when to fix. Layout what you want done, i.e., provide working heat and a/c, provide working washer/dryer, etc.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:18 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,142 posts, read 74,404,700 times
Reputation: 39370
Quote:
Originally Posted by mettler View Post
...but in March things started to break in the house.
My landlord refuses to speak to me on the phone or answer any texts.
Use real mail. Letters, envelopes and stamps.
At this point use CERTIFIED mail.

Put the LL on notice of what remedies you expect and the TIME you expect them to happen.

Quote:
I have been in contact with a lawyer who says to repair everything myself...
As a first stage solution? Find a different lawyer.

Quote:
Do I have the right to leave and nullify the lease?
You have a right to have condition repaired within X days of PROPER notice.
In the event of failure or refusal by the LL... you have other rights.
You have wasted a LOT of time.

Look up the VA statutes (link at top of page).
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:29 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
28,284 posts, read 38,812,589 times
Reputation: 62379
You can not withhold rent without having it pre-approved by the housing courts. Your rent will still have to be paid; you just pay it into escrow supervised by the courts.

If you simply do not pay your rent, you will be evicted and an eviction on your credit report will pretty much ruin your life for the next 10 years.

Unless it says in your lease that you will get a washer and dryer, you are not getting one. If there are laundry hook-ups in the unit, then buy yourself a cheap set of machines off of Craigslist. Used washer and dryer are very inexpensive. Spend a few bucks and save yourself the hassle of going to the laundromat.

Unless it says in your lease that you will have air conditioning, you might not get that, either. No state law requires a landlord to provide air conditioning.

Landlords are required to provide working heat, when the air temperatures drop below a certain limit. So send a certified letter to the landlord or property management informing them that the heat is not working and they are required to fix it.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:50 AM
 
2,493 posts, read 3,171,154 times
Reputation: 2081
Obtain a 10-day non compliance from your local Landlord & Tenant Association. If you do not have one, locate some type of services that do offer these non-compliance notices. Basically what it is is when you send a non-compliance notice to your LL via Certified mail, they have a specific time limit on repairs to be made on the property. If after that time has elapsed and nothing has happened, you can vacate the property. They will go after you for the rent, but the non-compliance will help with your break lease. Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
657 posts, read 1,776,163 times
Reputation: 184
thanks for all the suggestions. I am worried about not getting any of my deposit back. I don't know if I can state in the letter that requires repairs to be done that if they aren't done my deposit will be used as my last month's rent. The reason for this is that I will need money for a deposit on a new place and a months rent, which I would be able to do if my deposit is used as the last month's rent.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:31 PM
 
912 posts, read 4,932,798 times
Reputation: 2043
Quote:
Originally Posted by mettler View Post
thanks for all the suggestions. I am worried about not getting any of my deposit back. I don't know if I can state in the letter that requires repairs to be done that if they aren't done my deposit will be used as my last month's rent. The reason for this is that I will need money for a deposit on a new place and a months rent, which I would be able to do if my deposit is used as the last month's rent.
You can't just quite.. interpret the law as you see fit. Unless your state landlord/tenants laws allow you use your security deposit as last month's rent, then your current landlord can easily sue you for damages after you move out.

You need to listen to what people have told you on this thread.

Step 0) Read your lease in full. Whatever you signed is the agreement as it stands. No matter what the landlord promised verbally, whats in the lease is the contract and the only thing that will stand up in court.

Step 1) Certified, delivery signed mail. Explain the issues, what needs to be fixed, and a reasonable timeline of when you want these things fixed.

Step 2) Go to housing court, start a case and start paying rent into escrow there.

Step 3) Start packing, and start looking for a new place to rent. You'd be a fool to stay there, and your landlord would be a fool to renew your lease if you've followed step 0 through 2.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
851 posts, read 3,489,627 times
Reputation: 920
Sorry if this is off topic, but I'm curious. She mentioned that he verbally said he would provide a washer and dryer in the house. If he does not provide them and doesn't put it in the lease, couldn't the landlord be sued for false advertising?

Mind you, I'm not one of those people that will sue somebody for nothing, and if it were me I would probably just go out and buy a washer/dryer. But it seems like you hear quite often about landlords saying they'll include things but never do. Some renters may not realize they have to check the lease meticulously to make sure these things are included in the lease, or risk not having it provided.

Do renters need to start bringing lawyers with them during lease signing? (I realize this could easily be said with lousy tenants, but I'm talking about it in the case of the landlord here)
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:19 PM
 
9,127 posts, read 12,020,824 times
Reputation: 18501
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobefobik View Post
Sorry if this is off topic, but I'm curious. She mentioned that he verbally said he would provide a washer and dryer in the house. If he does not provide them and doesn't put it in the lease, couldn't the landlord be sued for false advertising?

Mind you, I'm not one of those people that will sue somebody for nothing, and if it were me I would probably just go out and buy a washer/dryer. But it seems like you hear quite often about landlords saying they'll include things but never do. Some renters may not realize they have to check the lease meticulously to make sure these things are included in the lease, or risk not having it provided.

Do renters need to start bringing lawyers with them during lease signing? (I realize this could easily be said with lousy tenants, but I'm talking about it in the case of the landlord here)
If there is an actual written contract (the lease) then NOTHING the landlord says matters if it isn't in the lease. No, renters do not have to start bringing lawyers, but they do have to ensure that everything they want is documented in the lease.

(I don't thing anyone would win a false advertising suit here, because it was their responsibility to make sure it was in the lease.)
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