You have a number of options to motivate management to make repairs and prevent future water damage. Likely your best bet, at this stage, is inform that the landlord that you will be withholding rent until the landlord makes the requested repairs. It's important to note that if you are going to withhold the rent, you must not spend it on something else. Once you withhold the rent, the landlord will probably try to evict you for nonpayment. On the court date, you can request "Marini Mediation." At that point, you'll have an opportunity to tell the mediator what repairs need to be made. Once the repairs are made the rent will be released to the landlord.
Best of luck with your situation.
I agree with Mr. Major. I will add however that if you elect to have a habitability or Marini hearing, you will be required to post all outstanding rent with the Court. Thereafter, the Court will determine what if any rent abatement you will be entitled to a release the monies you posted accordingly. Additionally, you may choose to do the following: 1) pay the entire rent and sue the landlord for breach of the lease agreement or 2) have the repairs made by your contractor and deduct the repair cost from your rent. You could also declare a constructive eviction, however unless the leak is severe, I doubt that is sufficient basis to cancel the lease. Should you have any further questions I suggest you contact an attorney. Good luck.
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Is your housing subsidized? Does your landlord know that you have contacted the city? I need to know more.
This sounds like a code violation that your landlord needs to take care of it sooner rather than later. Not only is it a nuisance, it sounds like it could be a safety issue as well.
Has the leak caused any damage to to any of your property. There is much more I would need to know in order to advise you on options you may have. Contact my office if you would like and we can discuss this further.
Accurate advice from all three posters. Be prepared to pay full rent into the court's trust fund, if it goes that far. You may have some return, depending on the outcome of mediation. But, some renters end up spending their rent money and are stuck at the end. Just keep in mind that you will probably owe something in the end. I really had nothing else to add, except that having seen some of these, I wanted to give you some caution. Good luck.
My colleagues' answers are (as usual) quite good.
Be advised: a water leak through a light fixture is almost certainly a code violation. It is also exceptionally dangerous because it can cause a short circuit and injure you or anyone else in your home.
I suggest you write a letter to your landlord informing him/her/them that this issue exists, and you originally notified them 3 months ago. Photocopy the letter, then send it via US postal service CERTIFIED mail, return receipt requested. It's going to cost an additional $5.30 (at last count, but postage keeps going up), but it will be very strong proof that you provided notice in writing should you need to go to court.
The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you feel you need to speak with an attorney regarding your issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney with expertise in your area of inquiry. The information related above is purely for informational purposes, and should not be acted upon without speaking with qualified counsel familiar with you specific situation and the laws related thereto.