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Negligent Landlord- All Advice is Welcome

I live in an apartment with my mom that are more like a set of duplexes. We decided to have cable installed. We've lived

here for over 7 years and are the only apartment without a cable line. Our landlord agreed and sent us a letter giving the

cable company permission. When the installer came, he told me our landlord said they couldn't run the line outside so he

would have to go underneath through the crawlspace. Luckily the entry to it is in our apartment. As soon as the installer

dropped down into it, he called me over and showed me that there was water as far as we could see and that he

couldn't install it until they pumped it out. He also said that it was extremely important it was removed because of health

concerns. My mom called our landlord that evening and they said they'd come fix it. Three weeks later, the maintenance

man came and determined that there was a leak coming from an empty apartment and that the pipe from our bathtub

had come apart and it was draining right into the crawlspace. He said he'd be back to fix it all and pump the water out.

He came back three weeks after that to fix a leak in a sink, but never went back under the building. He once again told

me he'd be back to fix the problem. It's now been 5 weeks since then and a total of 11 weeks since the initial call to

them about the problem. We're concerned that mold is growing underneath. Is there a way to report them or at least

have some type of authority check it out and tell them to fix it? Should we call a company ourselves and take it out of

the rent? I can hear the water pouring out every time I take a bath. My mom is concerned that they'll punish us if we report them. I feel that they've taking advantage of the

situation and the fact that she's apprehensive about reporting them. Any advice you guys can offer will be greatly


Re: Negligent Landlord- All Advice is Welcome


If you haven’t done so already it would be a good idea to write a letter to the landlord. State the problem clearly and ask him/her to fix it by a specified date. Be polite and professional in the letter. Resist the urge to complain – just state the facts. Then send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy for yourself. This will be official proof that you notified the landlord of the problem and gave him/her time to fix the problem. If the landlord fails to fix the problem by the date you specified (or at least scheduled the repair) then call you state offices and ask for the department that handles these kinds of problems. They will direct you to the right place.

Let us know what happens.

Re: Negligent Landlord- All Advice is Welcome

Maybe you should talk to some of the other tenants, including those in other buildings the landlord owns. If they have had similar issues, you might all go together to the housing authority. Then it becomes less of a "he said she said" and more of a distinct landlord problem.

You might also want to see if you can get statements from anyone who has worked on properties this person owns. There might be other contractors who know of problems with the buildings, things that were done wrong, etc.

The more evidence you have that you are not a cranky tenant and that the landlord is really not living up their responsibilities, the better chance you have of finding a solution.

Finally, you should consider moving. I know it's expensive but if there are dangerous things in the house or if things go wrong in the future that aren't fixed, it's really not a matter of money. Your well being doesn't have a price.

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