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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    any lawyers? This isn't cycling related

    On the chance that anyone in here is a lawyer or knows about landlord laws, I have a question regarding landlord responsibilities. The situation is this: my girlfriend has an apartment, and during the first rain of the year water marks appeared on the ceiling. She called and told him and he said he would send out his roofer. Another big rain came, and they got worse. She called again, and he said he'd said his roofer again. Then we got about 6 or so inches of snow in mid december, and when it all melted water started coming into the room (We weren't there when it started, but came back to find a stream of water running down the wall and a hole in the ceiling dropping a steady stream onto her headboard, which then splashed everywhere.) I made a rig out of a tarp and a trashcan to funnel all the water into the can and not all over the floor etc. as soon as we got back, but it was too late. Anyway, a few things were ruined due to water damage (nasty brown water) and when the roofer actually came he said that he knew the roof was had a problem over the summer before she moved in and he'd told the landlord about it, but the landlord didn't tell him to fix it. Furthermore the landlord said over the phone the first time the spots appeared that the roofer had a key to the apartment so he could look inside and see where the problem was, but he told us that he actually didn't have a key. Does the landlord have any responsibility to pay for the ruined stuff? It's about $150 worth, including the headboard to her bed. This is in Ohio if that matters.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Foo.

  3. #3
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    I'm no lawyer but you should of purchased insurance. And unless a road bike got damaged, what does this have to do with road cycling?

  4. #4
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    I imagine one of the fastest ways to get an off topic thread moved to Foo is to put "this isn't cycling related" in the title.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    agree with Machka off to foo we go.
    Sono pił lento di quel che sembra.
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  6. #6
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Local laws can be very specific. Seattle City law is not the same as King County law in regard to renter's rights.

    It could be the same in Ohio...

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  7. #7
    Senior Member hos13's Avatar
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    I'm no lawyer but you need to see how it spelled out in your lease agreement. Renters insurance is your best bet for replacing your damaged items.
    "Don't give up, don't ever give up" jimmyv

  8. #8
    Kicked out of the Webelos bluebottle1's Avatar
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    Standard disclaimer: I'm not licensed to practice law in Ohio, and I know only what I took a look at in the Ohio landlord-tenant code. That said, it looks pretty similar to Texas, where I am licensed. BTW, here's a link to the Ohio law:

    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5321

    Yes, the landlord has responsibility, and you can maintain an action for damages. That said, no action for $150 is worth pursuing, particularly if your girlfriend is staying in that apartment. There's no point in completely souring her relationship with the landlord, unless she's planning on moving out. Even then, the costs in terms of money, time, and trouble of bringing an action couldn't possibly be justified over $150. Let it go.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gabdy's Avatar
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    http://www.ohiolandlordtenant.com/revised.html#5321.07

    5321.07 Notice to landlord to remedy condition; deposit of rent with court or other remedies.

    (A) If a landlord fails to fulfill any obligation imposed upon him by section 5321.04 of the Revised Code, other than the obligation specified in division (A)(9) of that section, or any obligation imposed upon him by the rental agreement, if the conditions of the residential premises are such that the tenant reasonably believes that a landlord has failed to fulfill any such obligations, or if a governmental agency has found that the premises are not in compliance with building, housing, health, or safety codes that apply to any condition of the premises that could materially affect the health and safety of an occupant, the tenant may give notice in writing to the landlord, specifying the acts, omissions, or code violations that constitute noncompliance. The notice shall be sent to the person or place where rent is normally paid.
    (B) If a landlord receives the notice described in division (A) of this section and after receipt of the notice fails to remedy the condition within a reasonable time considering the severity of the condition and the time necessary to remedy it, or within thirty days, whichever is sooner, and if the tenant is current in rent payments due under the rental agreement, the tenant may do one of the following:
    (1) Deposit all rent that is due and thereafter becomes due the landlord with the clerk of the municipal or county court having jurisdiction in the territory in which the residential premises are located;
    (2) Apply to the court for an order directing the landlord to remedy the condition. As part of the application, the tenant may deposit rent pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section, may apply for an order reducing the periodic rent due the landlord until the landlord remedies the condition, and may apply for an order to use the rent deposited to remedy the condition. In any order issued pursuant to this division, the court may require the tenant to deposit rent with the clerk of court as provided in division (B)(1) of this section.
    (3) Terminate the rental agreement. (C) This section does not apply to any landlord who is a party to rental agreements that cover three or fewer dwelling units and who provides notice of that fact in a written rental agreement or, in the case of an oral tenancy, delivers written notice of that fact to the tenant at the time of initial occupancy by the tenant.

  10. #10
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    Not a lawyer either but having some experience with the court (when I was briefly a landlord), I'll chime in because you definitely want to start taking pictures and documented calls/conversations asap. The landlord has a responsibility to provide an adequate place for you to live and if you can make a case, then you may want to pursue this in small claims court.

    You'll have to make the judgement if going to court is worth the $150 - if you're in college and have more time than money, then it might be worth it. And even if you don't, you might find your landlord much more cooperative if he/she has the impression you're gathering evidence for a case. Not many people enjoy going to court - even when I had all the evidence prepared to evict my deadbeat tenant, it still wasn't much fun.

    Hopefully a lawyer will reply but in the meantime, start preparing now and good luck.

  11. #11
    Love that dirty water JoesInBoston's Avatar
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    Here in MA, you can withhold rent for stuff like that, the first time it happens. That leaky roof causing wet ceilings can lead to mold and someone may have a horrendous allergy to mold so it becomes a health issue. When things are a health/safety issue, you are legally allowed to withhold rent here in MA.

  12. #12
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Take $150 off the next month's rent and send in a receipt for the damaged goods with the check. Not worth going to court over regardless of who's legal responsibility it is. If its a legitimate claim that you already tried discussing with them, a landlord won't throw out a good, on-time, rent paying tenant.

    If you're afraid he may keep the security deposit in leu, just subtract it from the rent for the last month or two she stays there.

    BTW, get some renter's insurance. It's pretty cheap.
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  13. #13
    Master Surfer of Curbs glenng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseysbest View Post
    Take $150 off the next month's rent and send in a receipt for the damaged goods with the check. Not worth going to court over regardless of who's legal responsibility it is. If its a legitimate claim that you already tried discussing with them, a landlord won't throw out a good, on-time, rent paying tenant.

    If you're afraid he may keep the security deposit in leu, just subtract it from the rent for the last month or two she stays there.

    BTW, get some renter's insurance. It's pretty cheap.

    Photocopy the recipts and keep the originals. If you give the landlord the originals he can dispose of them and claim you shorted him $150 and take it out of the security deposit. He sounds like a shady/cheap landlord. I can not understand why the roof wasn`t fixed in the first place why is he not taking care of his investment?
    Glenn

  14. #14
    Warrior Cyclist cycle17's Avatar
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    I too am having landlord issues where I live. It truly sucks. I'm planning on moving out in the next few months. $150 is probably not worth going to court over. I'd replace the stuff, give him copies of the receipts and ask that she be able to take $150 off the next months rent etc... And if you are going to pursue this, then like others have said....take pictures and start documenting everything. Good Luck. I feel your pain.
    Just Do It..

  15. #15
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Did you inform him in writing? Otherwise he could claim he didn't know anything about it and it was your responsibility to inform him.

    And if it was $300 worth of damage take $300 off the rent.

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