Richmond, VA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: Need info concerning flooding in our apartment. 4 times not livable for several weeks. Not repaired

Management has been here and assessed the problem but have not done anything to fix it. Carpet is damaged. My wife is gaging from the musty air and oder. This is the 4th time this happened. This happens when it rains. We cannot use the kitchen or living room due to furniture being piled up .

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about the repeated flooding issues in your apartment and the negative impact it's having on your living conditions and your wife's health. Based on the information you've provided, it seems that your landlord or property management company has been negligent in addressing and repairing the problem in a timely manner.

Here are some steps you can take to address the situation:

1. Document the issue: Take photos and videos of the flooding, damage to your belongings, and the overall living conditions. Keep a record of all communication with your landlord or property management.

2. Review your lease agreement: Check your lease to understand your rights as a tenant and the landlord's responsibilities regarding maintenance and repairs.

3. Send a written notice: Write a formal letter to your landlord, describing the issue, the number of times it has occurred, and the impact on your living conditions. Request that they take immediate action to remedy the problem. Keep a copy of this letter for your records.

4. Contact local authorities: If your landlord fails to address the issue, contact your local building inspector, health department, or housing authority to report the problem. They may be able to put pressure on your landlord to make the necessary repairs.

5. Consider legal action: If the issue persists and your landlord continues to be unresponsive, consult with a tenant rights attorney or legal aid organization to discuss your options, which may include withholding rent or breaking your lease due to the uninhabitable conditions.

6. Prioritize your health: If the musty air and odor are causing health issues for your wife, consider temporarily relocating until the problem is resolved to protect her well-being.

Remember, you have the right to a safe and habitable living space, and your landlord has a legal obligation to maintain the property and make necessary repairs. Be persistent in your communication and follow the appropriate channels to ensure your rights are protected.

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