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August Michael Damian

August Damian’s Answers

4 total

  • What can a landlord do if one of the tenants move-out without permission?

    A man and his wife are renting the 1st floor together. They are both on the lease. If the couple had an argument causing the wife to leave the property without proper notice to the landlord. What can the landlord do? What can be done to the man wh...

    August’s Answer

    You can't stop someone from vacating the premises. The wife still remains liable for unpaid rent and damages to the apartment along with her husband because they both signed the lease making them both legally responsible. If the husband stays in the apartment and pays the rent on time, I don't seeing the wife vacating the premises as a problem since the husband will otherwise fulfill the terms of the lease.

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  • What are my rights as a tenant and what are the responsibilities of my landlord?

    I have lived in my apartment for 2.5 months. In that time, my apartment has flooded, it has been infested with bed bugs, I have a horrible gnat problem, and the screens in my windows don't stay in/fit (which causes more bug problems and my cats to...

    August’s Answer

    I just wanted to add a few thoughts to what has already been offered.

    As far as the insects, you would need to check the lease to see who is responsible for the treatment of the insects. If it is the landlord, than yes, the landlord is responsible for the removal or eradication of the bed bugs which is a very involved and costly process. A major exterminating company I used charged $750-850 for one apartment and the tenant had to throw away certain furniture/personal belongings and/or have them treated with high heat to kill the bed bugs. Also, you would be required to leave the apartment for a certain period while the apt is being treated. The same reasoning applies to gnats, it is the landlord's responsibility to remove them if it is more than a few gnats. This is assuming you did not cause or contribute to the infestation problem than it would be your responsibility to shoulder your proportionate cost of exterminating and removal of the bugs.
    You do not have any right to offset the rent unless the apt becomes uninhabitable. Each case has to be individually examined and documentation from the Health Dept. and your physician in order to bolster your case is recommended. If 50% of the apartment is uninhabitable, then you have a right to deduct 50% of the rent or make the repairs yourself and deduct the reasonable cost of repair from future rent payments. Keep in my mind a tenant needs to give timely notice of the problem to the landlord and allow the landlord a reasonable time to correct the problem. If, however, the problem is not resolved in a timely manner, even with the landlord's best efforts and it is considered a material breach of the lease, the apartment is 100% uninhabitable, you could argue the landlord breached the lease and you could vacate the premises, assuming you have documented your case and met your burden of proof at the magistrate level in PA. Of course, the downside is if the magistrate does not agree it was 100% uninhabitable, you would be responsible for unpaid rent for the remainder of the term on the lease for the percentage of the apt. that was deemed habitable, with necessary efforts of mitigation on the landlord's part to re-rent the apt., although case law needs to be checked to see if there is a clear duty to mitigate damages within PA in a residential lease situation..

    As far as the "peeping tom's", if they are on the landlord's property and the landlord has notice but fails to do anything, I would argue the landlord has a duty to make the common area safe or at least take reasonable measures to make it safe such as calling the police, lighting, security cameras, offering privacy measures such as blinds and curtains inside the apartment. Again, case law would need to be researched to determine what duty, if any, the landlord has with regard to third party criminals on the premises. Hopefully this helps.

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  • Mom passed and I am only family left. There is no will and need to transfer her house to me. Lawyer needed to do this?

    I know I need to go to the courthouse and since there is no will, I will have to have a "hearing". Since I was her POA and have handled everything else, do I really need a lawyer to go with me to handle this? There is no debt so I am hoping that...

    August’s Answer

    Yes, it is my recommendation you consult with an attorney to handle the legal matters of your late mother's estate. There are legal requirements in Pennsylvania that you need to comply with in order to have a free and clear title to the real estate and make sure all of your legal obligations are met.

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  • I was involved in an accident, I was riding my motorcycle and got rear ended by another motorist. Should I have a lawyer?

    I had my wife take me to the hospital afterwards and after ct scans and MRI's I was told I have 2 herniated disks. I've been and still am going to physical therapy. I was off work for approximately 5 weeks but had to get Dr to release me so I coul...

    August’s Answer

    You have an excellent case based on the information you gave . Your case could be worth a significant amount of money. Don't delay, you may be giving up your legal rights.

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