On Your Side: Tenant complains repair requests ignored

On Your Side: Tenant complains repair requests ignored

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 12 On Your Side has the answer to a question many renters have: what must your landlord fix?

The law says anything that's essential to a renters' health and safety - including hot and cold water, plumbing, and heat.

A Richmond woman says her complex has a lot of issues that don't fall on that list. There's a way to get a landlord's attention when it comes to these nuisance problems.

First off, put it in writing. A call, text or office visit may not be enough. A written request for repairs puts the problem in the landlord's hands and gives him or her time to think about it.

If you get no response, it may be time to call your local building inspectors. Some repairs, though seemingly minor, are a violation of local housing and building code.

Tenant Fannie Dunn showed us problems on the exterior of her apartment she's concerned about.

"The window pane, as you see, there's no caulking around. The windows are rotted. All of this all up here," said Dunn.

Dunn says she grew tired of complaining and having her repair requests ignored, so she called Richmond building inspectors. State and local building codes may require the landlord to correct broken or neglected things in your apartment that management might want to repair at their own discretion.

"The worst part is when you call them to try to get repairs, they will say they didn't get it or not respond or anything," said Dunn. "When you call the office, you get attitude."

A city inspector did come out and found a few defects. Violations include exterior windows in disrepair, holes and rotting material outside. Violations inside Dunn's apartment include a hot water tank missing a pressure-relief valve discharge pipe and peeling paint in the hot water closet.

"This is a beautiful place. It's a wonderful neighborhood, but do some repairs that need to be done," said Dunn. "They haven't responded to the code violations. The code violations were that they had to get the work done by the 28th of February."

The city inspector says he has seen worse violations elsewhere, but he paid the complex another visit Wednesday. He says he must allow management time to make the corrections, but the city is on top of it and prepared to pursue it on a court level if necessary.

NBC 12 Investigators spoke over the phone with a manager in the leasing office at Park at Forest Hill apartments. She could not give a time frame on when repairs would be done, but she says the owner has been notified and the violations will definitely be taken care of.

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