We moved in and the landlord did not inspect this unit or give us a checklist as required before taking our deposit. Our heating has never worked and the reason is that the electrical wiring is faulty. We had a major power surge and it ruined $3,000 in property. We stopped paying rent and are being evicted, however we haven't lived in the place since its too cold with no heat. Should we answer and file our case for reduced rent with the dispossessory, or file a separate case in State court with an attorney. We want to stay, but just want the heat fixed so we can live there. Is it too late to try to stay as we will pay rent, just not the full amount as we have not been able to stay?! Can we request to pay rent to the court? Very confused. Thanks.
You can file a counterclaim. While it's always advisable to at least consult an attorney, your claim may be too small to justify hiring an attorney to prosecute your claim. Although your lease may contain an attorney fee clause, it is ultimately the Judge's decision whether to award fees. For that reason you should never assume fees will be awarded. Thus, you should decide under the assumption they will not be awarded.
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