Prioritize rental repair requests

How to handle landlord who ignores roof leak, broken heater

Q: What are the landlord’s responsibilities as far as repairs? I have had a broken dishwasher, and my heater has not worked for the last month. I contacted my landlord and complained about these problems more than a month ago. Then three days ago I came home from work and discovered I have a leaking ceiling.

I have tried to catch the water in a small plastic trash can, but I can’t stay home from work to empty the container so quite a bit of water got into the carpet and padding. Based on the smell, I seem to have mildew because it was not taken care of properly. I really like my landlord and I don’t want to be a whiny tenant, but how long am I expected to wait for my landlord to make repairs?

A: Of course, in an ideal world, the landlord would always respond immediately, but that isn’t always realistic. So the answer to your question is that your patience and expectations should be flexible depending on the exact nature of the problem.

Let’s look individually at each of the three problems you currently have with your unit.