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Do I have a legal claim if my landlord is negligent?

Atlanta, GA |

I'm leaving in an app. Complex, and every time it rains the water licks in through my app. Windo. I've already told this to the landlord but she only sends some one to vacuum, and that doesn't really do any thing. It's been raining for a few days now and the room is completely inhabiteble. I had to take every thing out of the room. And now I am sleeping on the living room. I have a one year old daughter and I am worried the most about her health! I've already told the landlord to fix it or to relocate me, but so far she has done nothing. So Now i've told her I was going to take legal action and that I wasn't going to pay rent until she fixed it. It's been two weeks and still nothing. ( i've been leaving here for almost five months)

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Attorney answers 3


Yes, a tenant does have a legal claim if a landlord is negligent. However, the real questions are always whether the landlord actually is negligent and what damages is the tenant entitled to due to that negligence.

While you appear on the surface to have a viable claim, you do not appear to be entitled to refuse to pay rent. You absolutely need to consult directly with an attorney to discuss what you may be entitled to. (Note: if you cannot afford an attorney, Atlanta Legal Aid does assist tenants who qualify for aid.)

I hope this information helps answer your question(s).

~ Kem Eyo

The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.


Initially, you cannot stop payment of rent. You can utilize what is called repair and deduct. If you can show that you have give the Landlord opportunities to fix the issue and they have not, you can fix the problem yourself (hire someone), and submit the receipt plus the balance of the rent due for that month (assuming you can afford the fix and its not too expensive). You can sue for breach of the lease as well as another option. Leaving and claiming that the property is untenable is a very high standard in Georgia. That being said, if you believe that you are at health risk then you should move and let the chips fall where they do. Just be prepared to answer a lawsuit for rent if you leave before the lease expires.

This is not intended to create an attorney client relationship and none is to be implied either. You must contact an attorney and present all facts before you can and should act on this response


Call your local news station...that will get the landlord's attention

If this answer was helpful to you or if it was the best answer, please click the buttons that state helpful and best answer. Please understand that all of my answers are for informational purposes only, are not legal advise, and do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and me. I am not your attorney and you are not my client unless we enter into a signed contract. My only legal advise to you is that you should immediately consult with and hire a lawyer and that you should not represent yourself. If you want to more information about personal injury, visit or if you want more information about criminal defense, visit Good luck!

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