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Rent Withholding – What Every Tenant Should Know About the Right to Repair Act

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Landlord-Tenant Dispute

Naperville tenant rights lawyersAlthough most landlords work hard to keep their properties safe and habitable, some do not. The Residential Tenants’ Right to Repair Act outlines the recourse that tenants have in such situations. It also provides detailed information on the limitations of the Act, which must be followed to ensure the protection of your tenant rights. If you are experiencing poor living conditions or are struggling to have essential repairs made, the following can help you understand how this Act may apply to your situation.

Deducting Repairs from Rent Due

Under the Tenants’ Right to Repair Act, tenants have the right to use a portion of their rent to pay for necessary and reasonable repairs to their dwelling. This right is not without limitations, however. The tenant cannot simply make the repair. Instead, they must notify the landlord, in writing, by registered or certified mail. If a response is not received and the repair has not been made within 14 days of the receipt of the notice, the tenant may then pay a tradesperson to complete the repair. It should be noted that the amount cannot exceed $500 or one-half of the tenant's monthly rent (whichever is lesser). Further, the damage cannot have been caused by the deliberate or negligent acts of the tenant or their animals or visitors.

Additional Exclusions to the Right to Repair Act

The Right to Repair Act only covers residential tenants; commercial tenants do not have the same rights. Further, the Act does not apply to condominiums, public housing, or not-for-profit corporations that provide dwellings to residents. Owner-occupied homes with six or fewer houses are also excluded, as are mobile home units, which are covered under the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act.

Additional Tenant Requirements Under the Act

In addition to notifying the landlord by mail of the necessary repair, the tenant must also ensure that the repairs are made in compliance with all applicable zoning and administrative laws, as well as any other local ordinances. Further, the repairs must be done by a professionally licensed or certified tradesperson or laborer with adequate insurance coverage for potential injuries, damages, or negligence. The tenant is responsible for ensuring that these requirements are met. Further, the tenant is responsible for any damage that is caused to the dwelling or property by the tradesman or laborer they hired.

Using the Act in Defense of Eviction

Although the Act does protect tenants, it does not prevent a landlord from pursuing the eviction process. Tenants can use the Act in their defense, only if they have met all requirements and provisions outlined within the Act. To avoid missing any of the elements within the Act, tenants are highly encouraged to contact an experienced lawyer before making repairs under the Right to Repair Act.

Contact Our Naperville Tenant Rights Attorneys

At Lindell & Tessitore, P.C., we fight to protect the rights of tenants who have experienced unfair or unjust treatment. Knowledgeable and experienced, we can fight for you. Learn more about how we can help with your landlord-tenant dispute. Call 630-778-3818 and schedule your personalized consultation with our Naperville tenant rights attorneys today.



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