Shocking conditions in college-town rental

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Q: My son just graduated from college and moved into a basement apartment in the college town. Last week while visiting, I came across pipes in his pantry that were wrapped with deteriorating asbestos -- powder and dust was all around and on the shelf. My son called the owner and it took her two weeks to get someone there to look at it. In addition, the oven coil does not work, the oven is filthy, the bathroom stinks, and the landlady won't do anything. My son has a year's lease. Are these problems significant enough to enable him to get out of his lease and get his deposit back? It is difficult in a college town to be treated fairly when some college students give all college students a bad reputation. --Rona A. A: If your son could go back to school, here's one course I'd recommend he take: How to Be a Savvy Consumer (not that many colleges offer such practical classes!). The problems you describe should have been evident before your son signed the lease -- if he had tho...