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When I moved into my apartment, the ceiling in the bathroom had a hole in it and needed to be repaired. I have asked the landlord to repair it but he won’t. What can I do?

Defects in the unit that were obvious when the tenant inspected the unit before moving in

are not the responsibility of the landlord to repair. If the damaged ceiling does not make the unit

unsafe or unsanitary, the landlord isnot required to repair it. Ifthe tenant was aware of a defect

at the time the lease was signed, the tenant waive the right to require the landlord to make the

repair. This is why it is important for a tenant to carefully inspect the unit before signing the

lease and to have the landlord put in writing anypromises to make repairs. This does not apply

to problems with the unit that the tenant wonot be able to discover during an ordinary

inspection of the unit prior to moving in.

I spoke to my landlord over a month ago about repairing a leak in the kitchen, but it still has not been done. What can a tenant do to force a landlord to make repairs?

First, you must notify the landlord of the condition needing repair. It is best to give a

written dated notice informing the landlord o the problem. Keep a copy for yourself. Written

notice

provides

evidence

that

the

landlord

was

a

earof

the

need

for

the

repair.

If

it

is

not

possible to give written notice, verbal notiis acceptable unless the lease requires written

notice. Be sure the lease prosion for notice is followed. If your landlord fails to make the

requested repairs within a reasonable time after n tice, you can either file a lawsuit against your

landlord for damages caused by hisfailure to repair o, if your landlordsues you, counterclaim

for damages due to the failure to repair. A tent may also want to consider using repair and

deduct. The tenant cannot stop paying rent even if the landlord fails to make repairs.

What is repair and deduct?

Georgia courts have held that when a landl d fails to respond to repair requests after a

reasonable time, the tenant can have the required repair perfo med by a competent repair person

at a reasonable cost and deduct te cost from future rent. Indetermining what is a reasonable

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