Can I take my landlord to court if I breach my lease? Posted on August 13, 2011
Landlord failed to make repairs, leaking shower causing damage to ceiling, and broken central air. (does state in lease he is responsible for C/A) We purchased window units, and watched our electric bill rise. Landlord claims not to have $ for repairs, we refused to pay rent, telling him he is costing us $ and we were just going to move out. He didnt want us to move, we've been good tenants, always paid our rent for 3 1/2 years. He offered to waive this month of rent (july, month we refused to pay) he stated he understood its cost us $, and offered to reduce our rent by $125 per month until repaired. We agreed, Aug 1 we paid this amount ($575). He claims to have never said this, i have saved the text message conversation between us, he threatened to evict us for not paying the $125, i tried to show him the text message, he refused and walked away. I told him if he wanted his $125, to make the repairs and he could have it or I would just report him to the housing authority. That night he put a eviction notice on the door that we have 5 days to pay or he was filling with the judge. For starters, did he break the lease for not making repairs? Can we legally withhold a portion of the rent until repairs are made? From what I gathered from a handbook I have read, we are legally able too withhold a portion until repairs are made and him evicting us in retaliation is also illegal. If I make this payment of $125 to stop eviction until I find a new home to move too, and give him a letter with it stating if he cashes it, he will be breaking a 2nd agreement, that we will be filing a claim at small claims courts for him breaching 2 contracts, my $125 back lawyer fees and moving cost. Could I do so?