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Do I have recourse for general repairs and cleaning not done before my move-in date?

This is a discussion on Do I have recourse for general repairs and cleaning not done before my move-in date? within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; I recently had to move 750 miles for my job. Over a month before I had to move, I visited ...

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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #1
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Default Do I have recourse for general repairs and cleaning not done before my move-in date?

I recently had to move 750 miles for my job. Over a month before I had to move, I visited my new town to find a house to rent. I was shown a house that was currently rented by college students. I noted a number of things that needed to be repaired and was told by the management company that they would talk to the landlord. Based on the assumption that the repairs would be made, I agreed to rent the house when it was available and paid the first month's rent and deposit. When I showed up at the house with my UHaul a month later, the house was filthy (it took me over 3 hours just to clean the mold from the grout in the shower) and none of the repairs had been done. I never would have agreed to rent this house if I had been told that the repairs were not going to be completed.

The rental market is tight in this area, so I had nowhere else to go. I moved in and had the lady from the management company walk through the house with me the next day, so she noted a lot of the problems (doors not latching, deadbolts not working, weatherstripping needing replaced, ripped window screens, huge screws and nails left in the walls, paint chips throughout the house, etc.). I said that I didn't want to sign a year-long lease until I knew what repairs were going to be made and what concessions they would make in regard to the cleaning. She called me and told me the landlord would be over the next day to look at it.

Well, the landlord never showed up and it was almost 2 weeks later that I finally talked to him. He was upset that I hadn't signed the lease yet and I explained to him that I was waiting for him to meet with me to discuss the repairs. He flat out told me that he was not the kind of landlord that fixed those kinds of things and he wasn't going to do anything. He told me I had to either sign the lease or moving out immediately.

I have rented before and the places I moved into were always clean with everything in proper working order at move-in. What are my rights as a tenant as far as what the conditions of the house should be at move-in? Do I have any recourse if I have to incur a lot of expenses to move out again because I won't sign the lease for this house in its current condition?

Also, there must be a big beehive hidden under the front porch somewhere because in 2 days, both my son and I have been stung while walking out the front door but there are no visible hives around the roof, etc. The problem is that the porch is only about a foot high and enclosed by lattice so it's not easily accessible -- it's not like I can buy a can of the stuff that shoots hives at the roof from a safe distance. Whose responsibility is it to remove things like beehives -- the landlord or the tenant?

BTW, my new town is in South Dakota. I would appreciate any help or advice any of you can offer!!
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do I have recourse for general repairs and cleaning not done before my move-in da

I wish to inform you that you may seek remedy under South Dakota Codified Laws Section 43-32-9. In this regard you may inform landlord that he is having a duty to repair and if he does not repair then you may conduct the repairs. You may recover amount of repair in the manner specified in Section 43-32-9. In this regard under law you have two options mainly to deduct from one months rent or to vacate the premises. The amount of repairs will determine your right and method to recover cost.

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