Q: Should I not pay my partial rent as LL failed to fix bathroom ceiling leak problem??
I am a decent tenant paying rent each month and following lease. I live in NJ. I got bathroom ceiling leak problem since 1 month. LL says this is due to tenant living upstairs using extra hose and not keeping bathroom floor dry enough. LL says they tried to request him to remove attachment as it’s causing leak downstairs. He seems very stubborn and doesn’t want to comply. LL says he pays rent every month so they can’t even evict him since NJ tenant court are closed due to COVID, is it true? What can the LL do to upstairs tenant? Can i only pay half of the rent as my full rent is based on a decent place to live, not a leaky bathroom ceiling? What could be the consequences to me? I think they can’t evict me due to COViD? I can’t easily move from here too as I live very close to my work and really like the area.
A: Open an escrow checking account. Pay into that account an amount equal to the withheld rent on a timely basis. In form the LL that you will release the escrow to him once the necessary repairs are performed. Be sure that the amount of rent withheld is reasonable considering the work to be done.
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