Landlords are legally obligated to ensure that your home is safe. If your landlord is negligent and does not perform regular maintenance, you need to know what you can do to remedy the situation.
There are several steps you can take when your landlord is negligent.
Contact the board of health
According to Legal Services of New Jersey, your apartment has to meet New Jersey’s health and housing codes so that it will be safe for renters. If your landlord will not make repairs, you can ask the board of health to send a building inspector. This professional will walk through the unit and put together a report of the problems. You should usually be there for the inspection so you can make sure the inspector sees all the problems. The inspector will typically send a letter to your landlord and explain all the code violations. Additionally, the inspector will set up a date for another inspection to make sure your landlord has made the repairs.
In some situations, you may consider withholding your rent. You generally should write a letter to your landlord before you stop paying. This letter should include a list of all the necessary repairs. You should explain that you will not pay the rent if your landlord does not make these repairs. If you choose this option, you should make sure you keep a copy of this letter for your records.
Many landlords may make repairs after you take one of these steps. If your landlord continues to ignore the problems in your home, you may need assistance to make sure your home is safe.