Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Help Me Howard: Leaky Roof
If you are a renter, odds are you have had a problem in your place. A leaky roof, a broken toilet, a faulty front door lock. So how can you get your landlord to fix the problem quickly? Lets find out in Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- When it rains some people don't have to go outside to see it. Jennifer can just go upstairs.
Jennifer Revolinski: "If its pouring really really hard it will come in allot. If its not pouring as hard it will just drip."
This is video Jennifer and her husband shot during one of the recent downpours. To a landlord its a drip to a renter its downpour.
Patrick Fraser: "How often has it leaked?"
Jennifer Revolinski: "Every time it rains."
The leaks came at what should have been a happy time for Jennifer. She and her husband had just returned from the honeymoon and returned to a leak so she called maintenance.
Jennifer Revolinski: "We have to wait for the roofing company to come out. They will not come out when its raining. They will not come out when the roof is wet."
After the rain stopped someone came out.
Jennifer Revolinski: "We were told they fixed it."
Then it rained again and another shower from the attic, they called the office again.
Jennifer Revolinski: "They told us they were sorry we will get you some buckets if you'd like."
On the day we were there it was sunny but you can see the damp spots still in the attic, and Jennifer says mold has been forming as well.
Jennifer Revolinski: "I have sinus issues. I have had surgery I should not be around mold."
Maintenance came out again and patched the ceiling where the leak had caused the paint to peel, and Jennifer says mold had begun to form.
Jennifer Revolinski: "And it looks like they went around, sanded it and painted it again. Its leaking in the same exact spot."
Of course re-painting here didn't stop it from leaking up here which became clear the next time the clouds opened up.
It's no suprise that Jennifer has had enough.
Jennifer Revolinski: "Its awful. Is it gonna get worse am I gonna come home and the whole entire apartment gonna be flooded."
Well Howard, does a renter have to tolerate a leaky roof ?
Howard Finkelstein: "No you don't have to put up with a leaky roof. Florida law requires that the premises be in whats called a habitable condition. Not only does the law cover a leaking roof, but requires toilets that flush, windows that close, hot water anything necessary to live safely."
Jennifer had told her landlord we were coming out to her apartment that morning, and while we were there a work crew showed up.
They did go into the attic. Did see where the leaks were coming from then went up on the roof to cover the area with plastic to stop the leaks for awhile. We were told they are going to replace the roof over Jennifer's building next week.
And Howard says if you have significant problem affecting your life, there is a way to get it fixed promptly.
Howard Finkelstein: "Write your landlord whats called a seven day letter. Detail the problem and tell them if its not fixed within seven days you will consider them in violation of the lease, and you will consider terminating the lease and moving out. And remember you get back your entire security deposit when you leave. Also make sure you send the letter certified mail."
Jennifer says while she is waiting on a new roof, the plastic is keeping the water out. And while its been a headache at least she has the memories of her honeymoon.
Jennifer Revolinski: "The honeymoon was great."
Patrick Fraser: "And with the new roof being installed the newlyweds will be nice and dry. Now remember not every problem qualifies under a seven day letter. For example, a broken front door does. A broken closet door does not because a closet door does not affect your safety. An unlocked front door does.
A continuous problem feel like a drip drip drip in your life? Don't let it flood your thoughts, contact us. We have a bucket full of ideas. Let us dry out a few for you get it dry out.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at email@example.com