Can I Put My Rent Into Escrow Until the Landlord Makes Repairs?

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My brother and I had to get housing fast so we rented a large furnished room. The furniture was just a bed. Recently the tub has been backing up and the toilet is leaking plus other problems. If I put my rent into an escrow account is there a time limit on making the repairs and while we wait can we be forced out? Thanks for any help.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

The answer is it depends. Landlord-tenant laws vary widely from state to state, and what may be perfectly acceptable in one state can get you evicted in another. Withholding rent can certainly get the landlord’s attention, but it’s not necessarily the kind of attention you want to get, and it could end up with a negative impact on your credit.

If your landlord is the sort who isn’t dealing with a POLITE request to repair a leak and a backed-up drain, your long-term solution is to get a new landlord. Start looking now, even while you’re trying to resolve your current situation. That way, as soon as your lease is up (or, even better, if you’re month-to-month) you can get out of there. And be sure to document everything, so the landlord will have a hard time blaming you for the water damage.

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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"