How to repair and deduct (step by step instructions)

Category: Tenant Rights & Laws
Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2018 Published: Monday, 30 July 2018
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How to repair and deduct (step by step instructions)

Repair and Deduct may be a good solution for you if:

you don’t want to move,

your problem is something specific that a repair person can fix, and

the repairs will cost less than what you pay for your monthly rent.

1. Send your landlord a written or typed letter explaining the problem. You should send this letter certified mail (return receipt) through the united states postal service. Do not skip this step– you must tell him or her in writing, even if you've already told him or her before about the problem. Be detailed about the problem– explain how seriously it affects your family’s home, life, health, safety, cleanliness, etc. If you can, also take pictures of the problem. Always keep copies of all your letters.

2. Next, give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to do the repairs.

3. If he or she doesn't fix the problems, you need to write to him or her again. Tell him or her that because he or she has not fixed your problems, you plan to get it fixed yourself and to subtract the cost from your rent, if he does not repair it immediately.

4. If the landlord doesn't do anything within a day or two, call around and get about three written estimates of how much the repairs will cost. Choose the most reasonably priced company. Remember, you can only use repair and deduct if you can pay for the repairs.

5. Get the repairs done. Get a receipt. Then, when it is time to pay rent, write to your landlord again, telling him that you got the repairs done, and how much money you spent. Give him a copy of your receipt, and copies of the other estimates you had gotten, so he can see you spent a fair amount. Subtract the amount you paid for repairs from your usual rent amount, and only pay your landlord the difference.

Important: only spend the money on the repairs, not on anything else. The next month, you must go back to paying your usual amount. 

Before you get the repairs done, make sure that other people have seen the problem and its effects, so that if you ever need to go to court, you’ll have proof that the problem was serious. In addition, if you can get the repair people to describe the problems in their written estimates or receipts, that could be helpful.

Take pictures and/or video of the repairs that need to be made.

 

 

How to withhold rent (step by step instructions).

Category: Tenant Rights & Laws
Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2018 Published: Monday, 30 July 2018
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How to withhold rent (step by step instructions)

 

Withholding rent may be appropriate for you only if:
 
you cannot afford to pay for the repairs, and
your problems are so serious that your home is uninhabitable.

 

But be careful, because it is not often the most appropriate choice, and many courts do not look favorably on it. In addition, while you are withholding rent you should be looking for another place to live, because the landlord may then try to evict you.
 
Examples of what would not be appropriate problems for withholding rent are torn carpeting, leaky faucets, toilets that won’t stop running, cracked walls, or a small or minor amount of bugs or rodents. Examples of what might be appropriate are no hot water, no heat in the winter, dangerous conditions in the structure of your home, a seriously malfunctioning sewage system, or an extreme amount of rodent or other infestation.
The following are the steps you must take to legally withhold rent in Pennsylvania.
 
1. Send your landlord a written or typed letter explaining the problem. You should send this letter certified mail (return receipt) through the united states postal service. Do not skip this step– you must tell him or her in writing, even if you've already told him or her before about the problem. Be detailed about the problem– explain how seriously it affects your family’s home, life, health, safety, cleanliness, etc. If you can, also take pictures of the problem. Always keep copies of all your letters.
 
2. Next, give your landlord a reasonable amount of time to do the repairs.
 
3. If he or she doesn't fix the problems, you need to write to him or her again. Tell him or her that because he or she has not fixed your problems, your home is uninhabitable, and therefore, you intend to withhold your rent. Make sure you also send this follow up letter certified mail (return receipt) through the united states postal service.
 
4. Next, give your landlord some additional time to make the repairs.
 
5. If your landlord fails to make the repairs after the second letter was sent and additional time was given, you should withhold your rent in an escrow account at a bank. Do not spend this money.
 
6. Send your landlord a letter with proof of the escrow account. Also tell him or her that you will begin paying rent again after he or she fulfills his obligations as a landlord. This letter should also be sent certified mail (return receipt) through the united states postal service.
Remember you can only withhold rent if the problems are serious and you follow all the steps mentioned.
 
 

Needed repairs in rental (Instructional Videos)

Category: Tenant Rights & Laws
Last Updated: Thursday, 08 October 2015 Published: Thursday, 08 October 2015
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Featured Article

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Last Updated: Thursday, 05 July 2018 Published: Thursday, 05 July 2018
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Letter To Landlord Examples

Category: Tenant Rights & Laws
Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October 2014 Published: Tuesday, 28 October 2014
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Letter To Landlord Examples

The following are example letters that you may use to send your landlord letters.


 

 Move In Inspection Letter

DATE


LANDLORD NAME
LANDLORD ADDRESS


Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. LANDLORD NAME:


I am writing to inform you of the following visual inspection of my new apartment/house
located at [APARTMENT/HOUSE ADDRESS]. Attached to this letter you will find a
checklist of all problems and defects with the unit that I identified upon moving into the
unit.


Please correct these problems as soon as possible.


I have also included a set of photographs of any defects in the unit that were present at the
beginning of my lease term.


Additionally, I have identified these additional problems with the unit:
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________


Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Sincerely,

_____________________
Tenant Name
Tenant Address


Notice Letter to Landlord

DATE


LANDLORD NAME
LANDLORD ADDRESS


Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. LANDLORD NAME:


I am your tenant at (tenant’s address), Pennsylvania. I am writing to notify you of repairs
that are needed in my home, the specific problems which must be repaired include: [Fill in
your own problems below. The following are only examples.]


1. No hot water
2. Leak in living room ceiling.
3. No heat.
4. Broken lock on front door.
5. (List others.)


These conditions affect my living situation in the home by [insert how the conditions are affecting you living in the property]


I would appreciate it if you would make these repairs as soon as possible. If these
conditions are not corrected within a reasonable time, I intend to exercise my legal rights,
including (here tell the landlord which legal steps you’ll take, such as
moving out, withholding rent, reducing the rent you pay, or repairing yourself and deducting the cost of
repairs from your rent.)


Sincerely,
(signed)
_____________________
Tenant Name
Tenant Address


Move Out Letter/Return of Security Deposit

DATE


LANDLORD NAME
LANDLORD ADDRESS


Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. LANDLORD NAME:


I am writing to inform you that I have vacated the unit at [APARTMENT/HOUSE
ADDRESS]. I have performed a visual inspection of the unit upon vacating. A copy of this
inspection and any photographs are included with this letter.


I am requesting the return of my security deposit. You may forward the deposit to:
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________


Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Sincerely,
(signed)
_____________________
Tenant Name
Tenant Address


 Quiet Enjoyment Letter

 

DATE


LANDLORD NAME
LANDLORD ADDRESS


Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. LANDLORD NAME:

I am your tenant at (tenant’s address), Pennsylvania. The following incidents have occurred recently, which I believe is a violation of my right to quiet enjoyment of my home: (_______________________________________________________________________________________________) . 

Under Pennsylvania Law I have the right to peaceful possession of the property you leased. 

This means that I have the right to be free from interference in using and enjoying my home during the time that I am living here. 

 

I request that you refrain from any further actions that interfere with my quiet use and enjoyment.

 

Sincerely,

 

(__________________)

(__________________)