Can I start an escrow for my rent?

Asked over 1 year ago - Philadelphia, PA

The basement of the house that I rent has been flooded since Saturday (3/9/2013) due to a cracked pipe. Not only has flooding ruined my belongings but it gets worse every time the sink/bathtub/washer is in use. Owners of the house have been aware of the problem since Saturday but the water damage has not been cleaned up, even though I keep requesting them to temporary fix the pipe/clean up the water and still no response. Can I start an escrow for my rent?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Stewart C Crawford Jr.

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Your landlord may be responsible for the damages to your personal belongings. With respect to withholding rent, it is a remedy available if there is a breach of the warranty of habitability (i.e. the place is not fit for habitation). I always recommend meeting with an attorney before embarking on this path because the landlord can retaliate with a lawsuit, eviction, or a negative credit inference. Essentially, you can write the landlord (via certified mail) giving them a chance to correct the water (and possibly mold) issues with the basement. In that letter tell the landlord that you are allocating the rent towards these repairs if the landlord does not address the problem. If the landlord does not address the problem, another alternative is to vacate the premises, informing the landlord that they have breached the lease by interfering with your quiet enjoyment and not honoring the warranty of habitability. If you have renters insurance, put a claim in with your carrier for the damaged property

    Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.

    Crawford Law Firm
    A Full Service Law Firm Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

    Philadelphia Area Office
    223 North Monroe Street
    Media, Pennsylvania 19063


    All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself,... more
  2. Rixon Charles Rafter III

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Your LL may be liable for damages, rent abatement, attorney fees and more. Maybe health code violations. See a local LL-T attorney ASAP.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice before the state and... more

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