Tenants in Utah who encounter a difficult time with requests for repairs from their landlords may turn to some “big-stick” solutions, including the repair-and-deduct strategy.
If you need emergency plumbing in Salt Lake City, you could pay for the service and have the cost be subtracted from your monthly rent. You need to make sure that the need for emergency plumbing arose from the landlord’s negligence, despite promptly notifying them. Otherwise, you can’t sue them for damages. The same applies to other housing problems, but resorting to big-stick solutions shouldn’t be your first option right away.
You Need To Meet Certain Conditions
Some problems can be annoying like a creaky floor or a noisy faucet, although these don’t justify withholding payment for rent or trying to take your landlord to court. Tenants have to determine the severity of the problem by knowing how state laws define major repairs. You can’t simply decide to skip rental payments especially if you didn’t pay during the previous months.
In other words, you should only consider filing a complaint if you complied with your responsibilities as a tenant. But even if you are a desirable tenant, big-stick solutions may annoy your landlord and cause you to lose your rental property.
Why Prudent Decisions Are Necessary
If your contract expires soon and you encounter problems with your home’s plumbing, you should only consider suing your landlord if you don’t mind finding another rental property. While landlords can’t evict you illegally for filing a complaint, they can decide not to renew your lease. You could even find this as a clause in your contract, so reviewing it before making any rash decisions is important.
Once you are bent on moving out, you could pay rent and then sue the landlord for the amount versus the value of the defective premises. Another reason to be careful in choosing a big-stick solution involves the court ruling in favor of your landlord.
Repercussions Of Big-Stick Solutions
Landlords will naturally defend themselves against any accusations from tenants. When a judge determines that you shouldn’t have resorted to a big-stick strategy, you would be lucky if the landlord only decides to evict you. Whether or not you were behind on rental payments, it’s a bad idea not to pay rent since this is an explicit breach of your contract.
Your credit score could also take a negative hit when you decide to forego rent even for just a month, and your landlord could file a counter lawsuit based solely on that reason. Tenants should also take note of a notice period given to their landlords to fix the plumbing issue.
Proper negotiations with your landlord always will be a better option to avoid costly legal troubles. You could choose to update your contract and include a spending clause on fixing plumbing issues. This could either be in the form of a rental cut for the amount spent, or the maximum amount that a landlord should spend provided that it wasn’t your fault.