What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
I need some help-
My son recently rented his first “place”; a small home in the country. He wanted to do this himself and I let him do just that. He signed a 12 month lease. When we helped him move in I almost fainted when I noticed what I would consider some serious safety violations.
1- Woodstove installed directly on a wood floor and the protection for the wall behind is a piece of aluminum siding leaning against the wall (seriously)
2- Propane heater is not vented to the outside at all
3- Front door is literally screwed shut- tight….does not open
My son spent one night there using the woodstove and keeping the propane heater on low- the place was freezing and in the morning all he could smell was fumes. He called the landlord and said he wants out- this is not a safe place to live. A call was placed to the BBB to find out what my son could do to prove the unsafeness of this property. He was told it would need to be inspected. I contacted a local inspector- it was deemed “uninhabitable”. Besides the issues I listed above there are live wires hanging from fuse boxes, the windows were problematic, and the foundation had cracks that were stuffed with clothing and rags. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
This is where I need the help- my son gave a security deposit and first month’s rent. He paid for the inspection, and also incurred moving costs (U-haul/gas) for a wasted move. What is his legal recourse? I would feel he is entitled to all these costs refunded to him.
I did find the Wisconsin Way and did a little reading. Some of the issues I mentioned should have been disclosed by the landlord, but I’m not finding solid info in what we should do.
My son and I spoke with the landlord mentioned. Did not go well….at all. This man is quite aggressive and tried to take over and tell us what was going to happen; he said he’d give my son back some of his money from the security deposit/first month rent but if he thought he was getting it all back he was crazy. He also said he has a family that is ready to move in. If true; I pity those people……the same thing is going to happen to them- they will freeze and/or get sick from fumes. And to think there may be children involved is sad.
I have a copy of the inspection; I did not and will not send it to the landlord. The money came from my pocket- that’s my thought anyways. He said the house is fully up to code.
Next step- I do want to take this the legal route. Figuring my first step is to file the inspection “somewhere”? Please advise how and where I go about doing this.
I’d imagine this is a small claims court issue. The landlord told me he has already spoken to his attorney…..do I need to find an attorney? I don’t want to go into this only to be trampled on. I’ve never gone to small claims so don’t truly know what to expect.
The Inspector suggested I contact the Dept of Agriculture. His words: also "mention" to the Dept of Agriculture that this place is NOT habitable/safe, and that POS is renting it out to another unsuspecting poor soul.
Do you agree that this is the dept I should contact?
I appreciate your time in helping my son and I with this. It’s a situation I’ve not been in before and feel a bit blind in what to do to follow the correct procedure.
Thank you, in advance- I’m not sure where else to turn. My son doesn’t have a dime to his name currently- the move is due to starting a new job with Oshkosh Truck 1-10-11. Now he’s behind the 8-ball both time wise and financially.