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Can I withhold rent if repairs are not made in a timely manor?

Roseville, MI |

I attempted to open a window in my apartment living room and when it slid into place, the glass cracked in half and the top portion fell out. I now have half of a window with a garbage bag taped over it. Not to mention I have a very active 2 year old and feel this is a saftey issue. I reported the much needed repair to management as soon as it broke, over 2 months ago. They never offered to board it up or anything. Everytime I have contacted management they inform me that the window has been ordered and will be here within a week. A week later, still broken, I call again and get the same story (been ordered, in a week). It has now been 2 months that my child has been playing around a broken window. Do I have the right to withhold my rent until the repairs are made?

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Attorney answers 1


Your landlord has a duty to maintain the apartment in reasonable repair such that it is fit for habitation. An issue such as a broken window should be resolved reasonably promptly.

Rather than simply withholding your rent, I would advise you to notify your landlord in writing that you intend to place your rent in an escrow account commencing May 1 if the window is not repaired by that date. You should include in your letter all of the dates that you have previously contacted the landlord about the window.

On May 1, if the window is not fixed, you should place 100% of your May rent in an escrow account, and provide proof of the deposit to your landlord. The funds should remain there until the window is fixed. Placing the rent monies in escrow will provide you with protection if the landlord decides to take you to court for nonpayment of rent.

Good luck!

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