Legal Q&A: Tenant: Paint my apartment, or I’ll do it myself and deduct from rent

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Question: I have single-family homes that I have for lease. They have large, well-maintained gardens. How do I best insure that they are kept up?

Answer: Your best bet is to hire a gardener yourself, build the cost into the rent and have the lease read that the gardener has permission to enter the property for gardening/landscaping/mowing etc. That way you have more control.

Question: Can we use a recent Section 8 inspection report as a standard of habitability in an eviction case?

Answer:  The court will allow any relevant evidence that tends to prove the condition of the premises during the time in question. Since the purpose of the inspection is to qualify the unit as habitable and in compliance with HUD regulations, the report may be considered as evidence of the condition of the premises at the time of the inspection, but the custodian of records may have to testify as to the accuracy of the report.

Ted Kimball Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Ted Kimball
Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Question: One of our tenants recently requested that we paint the inside of her apartment. She has threatened to do it herself and deduct the cost of the paint from the rent if we do not have it painted within the next two weeks. Is she legally able to carry out her threat?

Answer: Unless the condition of the walls rendered the premises uninhabitable, the owner is under no obligation to paint the unit at the request of the tenant.

Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. If you have questions, please contact your local KTS office. For contact information, please visit our website: www.kts-law.com. For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers, and Legal Articles, please consult the resource library section of our website.

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