What should you do when you have made requests in writing to your landlord for a repair that significantly inhibits your ability to enjoy your home? Even worse, what about defects that may cause imminent harm to your safety or life, or even be a fire hazard? File a Tenant’s Assertion!
A Tenant’s Assertion is an action where the tenant alleges that the landlord is in active violation of the lease or the law and that without an immediate remedy from the Court, the tenant would not be able to enjoy his rights to possession of the property.
In order to file such the Tenant’s Assertion, several pre-conditions exist:
- A condition must qualify
- Must be material, a fire hazard or serious threat to life, health, or safety
- May be a lack of heat, or hot/cold water, electricity, sewage disposal facilities, infestations by rodents, or the existence of lead pain on surfaces in the dwelling
- The landlord must have been served with a written notice from the tenant and have been given reasonable time to fix the condition
- The condition must remain up to the day of the trial
- Payment of rent must be current, or within 5 days of its due date
During the pending action, the tenant must continue to pay rent, albeit to an escrow account at the Court. That way, if a tenant is awarded a judgement by the court, he can collect immediately!
When a landlord is in violation of his lease, the Tenant’s Assertion is a swift means for the tenant to assert his rights without risk of a long, drawn-out lawsuit. If you are in a landlord/tenant dispute that involves, or may require, a Tenant’s Assertion, please feel free to call us at (540) 721-6028. The Stanley Law Group can advise you on how to move forward, and how best to protect yourself.
The article above is not intended as legal advice. We recommend you come to our offices for a proper legal consultation with our excellent attorneys to formulate a strategy which is suitable for your specific case.