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Tenant issues Repairs, Maintenance

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Sandya, Jan 21, 2014.

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  1. Sandya

    Sandya Law Topic Starter New Member

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    All I need you help and advise. I have a tenant that has about 6 months left on her lease.But there has been nothing but problems since she moved in.

    Before she moved I replaced the hot water heater with a new one. So on the day the tenant moved in..guess what ..it does not work. Since it was new it was under warranty> I called the company up and after 2 days they agreed to replace the hot water heater with a new one.

    At the same time the a/c stopped working. I had the a/c company come out to repair but they had to order a part. so that took 2 days to fix..

    Then 3 months later..guess what? The heat goes out. I was informed of that by the tenant Friday evening. Since it was cold out I wanted to make sure the tenant had heat but everyone I called had to order the part. So I had a total of 3 companies come out before I someone on Sunday to repair the heat.

    So a few weeks after that the tenant complained that there was no heat downstairs. The Hvac company came out and did something to the dampers..problem solved right...nope..tenant claimed it is still not hot enough. HVAC guy said there is nothing else I can do. So tenant is complaining that home does not heat downstairs. Please keep in mind that there is a fireplace(gas/wood) downstairs that tenant refuses to use. So now the tenant has refused to pay rent...What can I do? I was already told that the heat will not balance downstairs.

    A few days after that..guess what? During the freeze a water pipe burst...the tenant does not have renter insurance and now decides to sue me.

    Oh I forgot to mention that I had a police report made out on the tenant due to being verbally abused when I met the plumber out for the repaid. Things were so heated I had to leave.

    So now I get court papers that the tenant is suing me for $10,000 for inhumane living conditions.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No worries, people get sued every day.

    You haven't lived until you've buried a love done, lost at love, won at love, been married,, been a mom or dad, become a grandparent, voted the first time, received a traffic citation, been fired from a job (any job), and been sued.

    Okay, back to your issue.

    Here's a link that will allow you to educate yourself about small claims in GA:

    http://www.georgiacourts.org/councils/magistrate/index.html

    You're probably being sued in small claims, so Google their website and learn how it works in your county.

    You can discuss this with your lawyer, but you probably can defend this lawsuit yourself.

    You can simply research using any search engine.

    Or, you can retain your lawyer (yes, GA allows you have a lawyer represent your interests in small claims, some states don't) to represent yourself in court and address the answer you're required to file.

    I suggest, if you choose to DIY, that simply file a "general denial".

    It goes something like this:

    General denial:
    Now comes the defendant, who generally denies each and every allegation set forth in plaintiff's original petition. Your prayer relief follows, and indicates you are asking the court to summarily dismiss this garbagte lawsuit. Don't laugh, if you do it correctly, it works. Think of it as a FREE SHOT, you'd be stupid not to ask.


    Payer For Relief:
    For these reasons, defendant asks the court to enter judgement that plaintiff take nothing, assess costs against plaintiff, and award defendant all other relief to which he is entitled.

    Okay, read that lease you had your tenant sign.

    You probably have language that says, if the tenant sues you, they are responsible for paying your lawyer.

    Yeah, it can cause a plaintiff to reconsider, and request the court dismiss the lawsuit, too.

    Read the lease well. It might contain other useful gems. I'm never surprised to see how little landlords and tenants know about the lease, the contract they've both signed and MUST live with!

    Look at this state run website to learn more:

    http://www.georgiacourts.org/aoc/selfhelp/civil_cases.html

    You can research that at the court's website where the trial will be held.

    They likely have a form (or a template) you can download and use.

    Okay, plenty of stuff for you to learn, so off you go.
     
  3. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    If this helps....

    Georgia tends to be a very landlord friendly state.

    Should this nonsense end up on Civil or Magistrate Court (our version of Small Claims) you present your evidence as to when your tenant notified you of these repair issues and when you addressed them. It's often the time factor here that is the important thing and it sounds as if you responded to these repair issues within a reasonable amount of time.

    Unfortunately, with this most recent cold snap there have been issues here in the deep south with pipes freezing. I've lucked out with my rental properties (even one that is empty) but several of my local landlord friends haven't. Such is life.

    You have begun the process of dispossessory on your tenant (our version of eviction) due to her failing to pay rent, correct?

    Gail
     

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