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What action can I take against my landlord?

The plumbing isn't functioning. Sewage is coming up into our toilets and showers. They haven't been flushing since we moved in. We had someone come out to the house and they told us there were roots in the line. Now they are not even functional and I literally cannot use my bathroom because it is flooded with sewage. I filed a complaint with the health department. They showed up at the house ( i don't know why since I said the plumbing isn't working.. obviously I am staying there) but I wasn't home. I hope and pray they call first thing in the morining to meet me. When I spoke with the landlord, I was under the assumption they would fix it right away. He called later the same day to say they were working on a quote and I'd have to be patient... meanwhile I can't even open the door to my bathroom because it is REPULSIVE. I have smashed feces floating in my shower... lord knows if they are mine or not.... and now we can't use ANY of the toilets or showers and when we ran the washer, it made the sewage come out through the shower and tub and toilets..... What can I LEGALLY do? Anyone been in this situaiton? I live in California.

Answer Question

Asked by poweredbycarma at 4:47 AM on Dec. 17, 2010 in Health

Level 6 (104 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • honestly if you cannot get the health dept. out by noon (it's a friday and almost a holiday!) I'll call 911 for a non emergency. have an officer come out and call the land lord over. if you can quickly get it labeled unfit for human inhabitation they'll have no choice but to find you a hotel til its fixed

    be agressive.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 4:50 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Great advice! I am nervous about pissing off the landlord, but this should have been fixed within 24 hours... even if they had to plunge it every day until they fixed the main problem.... and even once they do... they can't dig up the plumbing system in one day.

    Comment by poweredbycarma (original poster) at 4:57 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • You have the right to pay for the service and deduct it from rent. Google the Tenant Landlord Act for your state and see who to call for issues like this

    Answer by admckenzie at 5:01 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • LOL!!!! If I had $10,000 in savings, sure I'd pay it and deduct the rent... HA HA HA!!! too funny

    Comment by poweredbycarma (original poster) at 5:04 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • you don't have a lot of google and phone call time or worrying about pissng the landlord off. you need to act swiftly. what if your landlord is going away for the holidays or something???

    eventually your rent can go into a court ordered escrow account until the house is safe, blah blah blah but you're in a tough spot right now. start hitting the phone at 7am and don't stop til you get someone. I'd say noon is your end zone.... if nothing happens by then you risk people leaving early from work, away for the weekend, not answering their phones, etc etc.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 5:06 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • I'd also call the Salvation army or possibly red cross. a social worker seeing that can make things (legally) happen quickly. plus the have secret emergency funds for hotels. ........... I had something slightly similar happen to me once. I was lucky, though, and was only without a shower/bath, toilet was fine. my landlord felt terrible and bought me a 90 day gym membership so I showered there til everything was fixed up.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 5:08 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Ha ha ha. I have already called the health department. They showed up but I wasn't home... obviously... I have no plumbing. I hate that they do that. CALL FIRST!! geeze. I hope they act as quickly tomorrow. I'd LOVE to get out of this lease instead of putting up with any more shit from my horrific landlord or room mates.

    Comment by poweredbycarma (original poster) at 5:13 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Call the plumber yourself. It needs is a power auger ran through it to remove the roots. I'd deduct the amount from your rent & send him the receipt. Or withhold rent until it is fixed.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 7:14 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • That is absolutely unsafe and unsanitary. I hope you dont have any kids there.

    Good Luck getting it fixed!

    Answer by Sandyr911 at 7:32 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

  • Id call the police. Thats TERRIBLE and can cause illnesses

    Answer by sstepph at 8:38 AM on Dec. 17, 2010

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