Can the landlord evict me for not paying rent because of the broken furnace? - Landlord and Tenants Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can the landlord evict me for not paying rent because of the broken furnace?

My furnace has been broken all winter this far and my landlord isn't moving to fix it and because of this I have not been paying my rent and now he wants to evict me can he do this to me even if there isn't a furnace in the home?

Answer By Bill Bidwell

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By law, you don't have to pay if the unit is uninhabitable (i.e. no heat). Michigan has specific statutes regarding this situation.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/24/2013

Stuart P Gelberg
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He can evict you but he probably can't sue for rent.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/23/2013

Harper Law Offices, Inc. P.S.
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Generally you should not refuse to pay rent because of a defective condition. Even if you are legally and morally in the right, the landlord can still serve you with notice and file an eviction suit. That goes on your record and could count against you, even if you win. Notwithstanding, the Washington Landlord Tenant Act requires that if you give your landlord notice in writing of a defective condition such as this (where the defective condition deprives the tenant of hot or cold water, heat, or electricity, or is imminently hazardous to life), the landlord has 24 hours to commence repairing the situation. If the landlord does not commence repairs, then you would have the option of either terminating the tenancy without further obligation and getting any un-used portion of your rent back, you could sue, you could pursue the repair and deduct from rent remedies under the statute (these must be specifically followed), seek arbitration, or have the local building department check to see if the property is even habitable and if they determine it is not, your landlord would have to pay your moving expenses. You have to be current in your rent to exercise these remedies, however. On the other hand, you may have a defense to an eviction that the property is in breach of the warranty of habitability excusing the payment of rent, but you would need to argue this before a judge. If you have received a notice to pay or vacate, or a summons and complaint, you should seek counsel right away, and at the very least, respond to the complaint and request a show cause hearing be set.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/23/2013

Answer By Ronald D. Dessy

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When you go to court, you have a right to ask the judge to determine the reduced rental value of your unit without eating. The judge will then determine the deduction and give you five days to bring your past due rent, as reduced, current.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/23/2013

Answer By James T. Weiner
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
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You still owe him the rent.. furnace or not..So you need to NOTIFY him in writing that you are putting your rent in ESCROW until the furnace is fixed. If you do this and he tries to evict you the court will not allow him to evict you during the term of your lease. check out the Michigan landlord tenant handbook.. (google it) it has your rights and obligations.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/23/2013

Answer By Patrick Currin

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A lack of heating is a breach of the warranty of habitability and would be a valid defense to eviction.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/23/2013

Peters Law, PLLC
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I don't know the law in your state, but I would think if you file that answer, the court will be loathe to evict you. You may need to get somebody else to testify as well that the furnace doesn't work. Also, did you put your complaint to the landlord in writing? Email? Bring copies of those too.

Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 12/23/2013

Answer By Erven Nelson

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Send a letter to the landlord explaining the facts and your reason for not paying rent. Then, if he starts an eviction proceeding you can show the letter to the judge as a defense. You also have grounds to look for another place to live, if you are interested in moving.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 12/23/2013

Answer By John F Brennan
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
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Yes, he can and will evict you.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/23/2013

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