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Unconscionable: effective arguments in Landlord Tenant dispute?

Las Vegas, NV |

There appear several issues with the lease. It states a requirement by the tenant to pay landlord's attorney fees; we are additionally being assessed late fees for rent paid two to four days late yet, lease states late fees apply after 10 days; Landlord failed to make repairs to plumbing; changed items in lease without written notice. Landlord refused to auth issuance of building fob until rent was paid without a proceeding; we received 3 reconciled statements all of which differ and each contain accounting errors, it contained a 1k elect bill we'd never seen that turns out to be an error also. Are these not issues that would encourage the court to vacate an eviction (in addition to inaccurate billings) and are these not unconscionable errors intended to harass?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

All of the things you have listed are breaches of the lease, including your failure to pay rent. If you have gone past 10 days? You did not say. However, when a landlord breaches a lease, you still have to pay rent if you want to live there. You can go to court and request the court order the fix; you can leave the property and claim that the landlord would not fix the property; you can make requests that these items be fixed. However, the landlord can withhold new keys if rent is not paid. The landlord MUST provide the new property manager's information.

The things you are discussing appear to be 'defenses' to eviction proceedings. IF YOU ARE PAYING RENT, you can bring these issues up. You cannot fix things and take it out of your rent, unless the agreement says so. You cannot pay late and expect to stay in the home, unless the agreement says you have a 10 day grace period, which it looks like it does.

Unconscionable (legal definitiion in a landlord tenant context): Something that is so unreasonably detrimental to the interest of the tenant as to render the lease unenforceable. (The UCC has a basic test which states ""in the light of the general commercial background and the commercial needs of the particular trade or case, the clauses involved are so one-sided as to be unconscionable under the circumstances.")

However, in your case a water leak with standing water is not just unconscionable it makes the home untenable. You are not really wanting to look at unconscionable, but untenable, if you are trying to get out of the lease. Certainly the landlord must come fix the pipes, unless the lease says otherwise, or if you caused the leak.

As you can see, it depends on what your objective is to determine what advice you need here. If your question is about eviction, just pay your rent. That cures the issue. If your landlord if not fixing things, you need to take him to court.

The recommendations in this answer are not considered legal advice for the purposes of ethical evaluation, nor do the create a retention of counsel wherein an attorney-client relationship exists. These recommendations should never be relied upon without first consulting an attorney in your jurisdiction. I am not your attorney, unless we enter into a written agreement fulfilling the terms of that agreement. The comments posted herein are purely for educational purposes and public discourse only.

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Posted

The best way to stay eviction is to pay rent.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Well that just it. According to my records we owe one rent payment and that is due April 15. This is also according to the first two reconciled statements and even the third is inaccurate in many ways.

Asker

Posted

Rent is current.

Posted

Yes, it seems that the issues create a legal defense which would stop a summary eviction. However, the "accounting errors" cannot be both simple errors and evidence of the intent to harass. They are either evidence of incompetence or negligence, or they are evidence of harassment.

Is there a provision in the lease that allows who ever prevails to recover attorney fees, or does the lease only allow the landlord to collect fees? Generally, a one-sided fee provision is not enforceable.

I hope this has helped. Good luck.

I am licensed to practice in Nevada. Please note - the information I post is not legal advice and my response does not make me your attorney. If you would like to seek my legal advice, then please contact me directly. I participate in AVVO in an effort to assist people by providing general answers to questions. However, you should always consult an attorney (meaning talk with one face to face in a consultation) before taking any legal action.

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