I have been living in a basement apartment for 3 months now. About a month and half ago I contacted my landlord about a leak in my bathroom caused my the water heater. He sent a maintence guy over who said he had fixed it. About 2 1/2 weeks ago, the water heater started leaking again, causing my whole apartment to stink. We contacted the landlord who sent over the maintence guy just 2 days ago. The maintence guy informed my me that the water heater was too small for the apartment complex. He contacted the landlord to inform the landlord of this, and the landlord told him that they did not have the money to fix it at this time. The maintence guy fixed the water heater and said he would be back in a month to have to do the same thing because the landlord couldn't afford to get a bigger one.
Suing the landlord is not something you can do. Since you have notified the landlord of the problem and he has failed to repair it, you have three options. 1) Move out; 2) Make the repairs yourself and deduct them from the rent; or 3) set up an escrow account and place the rent in the account until the repairs are taken care of.
You might also notify the city inspectors if the problem could pose a health and safety violation, which I believe this could.
Michigan publishes a booklet on landlord/tenant rights, which you may find helpful. You can find that, here: www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/publications/tenantlandlord.pdf
Best of luck to you with this frustrating problem!
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