What to Do if Your Landlord Won’t Fix Your Leaking Roof

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Landlord Won't Fix Leaking Roof: What Recourse Do You Have?

What ability do you have to make the situation right if you discover that your in the property that you rent from them? Do you just have to live with the leaking roof and accept that this is your station in life now, or can you take some action to get the landlord to do the right thing? The good news for you in this situation is that there are actions that you can (and should!) take to fix this climate of distrust and inaction. In order to start taking steps in that direction, you will first want to reach out to DoNotPay to see what offerings they have on the table to help you get the assistance that you require.

What Rights Do You Have As A Tenant?

The law is very clear as far as the rights of tenants are concerned.

  1. A tenant may make a reasonable request for the repair of an essential element of the property that they rent.
  2. They should inform the landlord in writing if at all possible so that they have written proof that they reached out to the landlord and informed them of the issue.

The landlord-tenant relationship may be so informal that a simple phone call is all that is required, but getting something down in writing helps ensure that there is a paper trail that may be of use later. Let's take a look at the example of the state of Illinois as far as the rights that a tenant has when requesting a repair:

  1. The landlord has 14 days after receiving notice of demand for repair from the tenant. The demand letter must be signed and sent via certified mail.
  2. The tenant must send the landlord a copy of the bill (assuming the landlord third-parties the workout)
  3. If the tenant is asked to pay the cost of the repair upfront and then deduct it from the rent, then the amount cannot be larger than $500.
  4. If the tenant is asked to hire someone to do the repair, they must hire someone professional, licensed, and capable of getting the job done.

There are definitely a lot of hoops to jump through just to get something like a , and it requires a lot of legal paperwork to be filed. Thus, many people are eager to use the services of DoNotPay to ensure that they follow all of the procedural steps correctly.

Tips for Asking Your Landlord for Repairs

Before you escalate the situation, exhaust these tips that might push your landlord to fix your problem.

Be Detailed About Repair Problems (And Document It!)Keeping documentation about the repairs and your contact with your landlord is more for your own safety and protection in case problems aren't resolved, and you must take them to court. However, being detailed in your repair notice helps the landlord understand the problem entirely so that they can take care of it as soon as possible.
Make Sure the Repair IS Your Landlord's Responsibility FirstDamages like a hole in the roof that you put there or an appliance (that you made) are on you to repair before you move. Only repairs due to normal wear and tear in the rental unit are up to the landlord to take care of for you. Try not to send a letter about repairs you must make.
Give Your Landlord Time to RespondUnless the repair is a case of emergency, give your landlord some time to respond to your notice before taking serious action. More often than not, they will fix the repair — they just need to make time in their busy schedules to do it.

Can You Make Repairs Yourself?

This is a very risky move to make because you could end up damaging the property more extensively, or you could end up nullifying any legal recourse that you might have had available to you had you not attempted this yourself. The reasons you shouldn't do repairs yourself include:

  • You risk damaging the property you live in and then having to pay for that yourself
  • You might tank the relationship that you have with your landlord if something goes wrong
  • You are giving up free labor to repair the property that someone else owns
  • The materials to perform the repair can be expensive, and you might not be reimbursed for them

There are some renters who are quite handy and believe that they could easily do their own repairs. That said, they should try to resist the urge to do so as it could land them in a place where they have made the situation far worse than it was before. They might just want to wait on the sidelines and follow the step-by-step legal procedures required to get their repair done in the most timely and ethical ways possible.

How To Use DoNotPay To Break Your Lease If The Landlord Won't Cooperate

If you get stuck with a landlord who simply refuses to honor their half of the deal, then you might want to go about breaking your lease with them. DoNotPay can help guide you through this. It is legal to do so if the landlord is not abiding by the law, but you need to follow precise steps as dictated here:

How to break a lease in using DoNotPay:

If you want to break a lease in but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.

  2. Select which issue applies to you.

  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.

  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.

Got More Lease and Landlord-Related Questions?

DoNotPay can handle all sorts of issues that come up frequently as a renter. A few of the other questions we help answer and resolve are:

Can DoNotPay Help You Find A New Place To Rent?

Believe it or not, DoNotPay is a useful resource for discovering a new place to rent if you have to break off the lease with your current landlord and move on to something else. They offer services that can scan through various zip codes to help uncover where some of the hidden gems of rentals may be located. They can also assist with:

  • Getting documents notarized
  • Filing documents in small claims court
  • Finding the right lawyer
  • Filing a formal complaint with the BBB

You may be stressed right now about the fact that your landlord is not stepping up to take care of your leaking roof, but you can make the most of this rough situation by seeking out a new place to rent that will take care of you and that will abide by the law. Check out DoNotPay today and see for yourself how they can work wonders to aid you.

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