What do you do if the landlord won’t pay to repair a problem in your apartment? One man did something almost no one ever does, then he did something else that’s hardly unheard of, and finally he did what’s common, Call Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to sort through his legal mess.
Nelson is a salesman, and he says, a pretty good one.
Nelson Ferreira: “I can sell a blind man a book. I can sell an Eskimo ice.”
The key to success, Nelson believes: honesty.
Nelson Ferreira: “And the number one thing that works for me in sales is I love whatever product I am selling. If you use it, and you’re satisfied with it, makes it easier to sell.”
Then, Nelson met an apartment rental salesman.
Nelson Ferreira: “The presentation was fine, it’s after I got in me.”
Patrick Fraser: “So the salesman got you?”
Nelson Ferreira: “He sold me… he sold me…”
The apartment problems started with a roof that always leaked.
Nelson Ferreira: “My bedroom turned into a rain forest whenever it would rain.”
There was the A/C unit that didn’t work well and a sink that broke.
Nelson Ferreira: “He told me, fix it. I’ll take it off your rent… I fixed it.”
They didn’t reimburse him for the repairs. Then, in 2020, a heavy rain storm hit.
Nelson Ferreira: “And this is my car.”
Leaving his apartment under inches of water.
Nelson Ferreira: “This is the second bedroom all under water. The management company comes in, they see this mess, and all he did was take pictures.”
When the management company wouldn’t take out his soaked carpet, Nelson said he spent $1,800 to rip it out and replace it with tile.
Patrick Fraser: “You paid to repair a rental?”
Nelson Ferreira: “OK, yes, I paid to repair a rental.”
Patrick Fraser: “Why?
Nelson Ferreira: “I live here.”
The landlord wouldn’t repay Nelson for that either.
Then in 2022, when the property manager decided to raise the rent by 25%. Nelson said enough.
Nelson Ferreira: “In February, I decided I’m not going to pay the rent. I’m not going to pay the rent. They, as far as I’m concerned, owe me for the floors.”
Nelson told them to take the rent for two months out of his security deposit. The management reply: “no.”
Nelson Ferreira: “I want my money or I’m going to go to your house on the first with the marshals, and we’re going to take you out.”
Nelsons said, give me the $1,800 for the floors he replaced, and he will move. Property manager said no, leaving Nelson to say, now what.
Nelson Ferreira: “I feel like my hands are totally tied. I didn’t know which direction to go.”
Well, Howard, legally you want to untangle this.
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Legally both of them are wrong. Nelson should have sent a 7-day letter demanding they repair the flooded floors and when they didn’t withhold the rent until they fixed it, he could not use his security deposit to cover the last two months rent. Since the landlord didn’t maintain the property, they are in breach of the contract, have to reduce the rent, plus they have to repay Nelson for the repairs he made. Bottom line, this case would give a judge a headache.”
But we wanted to avoid anyone having to go to court. I spoke to the property manager a couple of times, he said he would get back to us. He did.
Nelson Ferreira: “And they gave me $1,400 on top of it, which is perfect. It could have never happened without you.”
Nelson then moved to a new place, nice and comfortable after his call to Help Me Howard.
Nelson Ferreira: “And again, if you ever have any problem, this is the man to call. Patrick is the man.”
Glad we could help, and since rents are soaring you should get what you pay for.
If you have major things that are broken, send that 7-day letter to encourage your landlord to make repairs.
Flooded with problems? You don’t have to sell us on helping. Leak it to us, and see if we can patch things up.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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