Tenant option when rental property owner doesn’t fix things

John describes a frustrating ordeal with his HVAC system, which has been malfunctioning since he moved into his studio apartment in September and it's now April 29. Despite numerous complaints to management, the issue persists, leading to an exorbitant electric bill of $573 last month. With over 70 maintenance requests logged, John's patience is wearing thin.

Hi, there! Joe White here from Grow Property Management, your trusted property management company in Philadelphia. From a real estate podcast host's perspective, I empathize with John's plight and offer practical advice. Recommending that he contacts Licensing and Inspections (L&I) in Philadelphia, I highlight the agency's ability to prompt action from the property management company and landlord. Expressing confidence in John's reasonable approach so far, I suggest a final attempt to resolve the issue directly with management before involving L&I.

I acknowledge the inherent challenges of property management, where appliances like air conditioners can break unexpectedly. While repairs are costly and inconvenient for all parties involved, prompt resolution is essential. I stress the importance of landlords and property managers swiftly addressing such issues to maintain tenant satisfaction and property value. However, I also note that contractors' availability may impact repair timelines, though months-long delays are unacceptable.

Regarding rent withholding, I caution John against taking legal risks without consulting a lawyer. While it may grab attention, withholding rent could potentially violate lease agreements and lead to legal consequences. Despite this, I recognize that it might be a last resort for John to compel action from management. Ultimately, I advise him to consider his options carefully and seek legal guidance if necessary.

I wish John luck in resolving his HVAC issue, emphasizing his right to a comfortable living environment. As warmer weather approaches, timely repairs are crucial, and I encourage John to prioritize his well-being. With a reminder to pursue his rights responsibly and legally, I sign off with wishes for successful real estate endeavors and promise further discussion in future episodes.

As always, happy investing!