Tenants voice concerns about landlords ignoring maintenance requests in Columbus

One local attorney told News Leader 9, tenants have rights and there are specific things they can do to protect themselves.
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:38 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Residents from one Columbus apartment community say they’re tired of their requests for repairs being ignored.

Here at News Leader 9 we often hear from tenants who struggle with landlords who, they say, drop the ball when it comes to routine maintenance and repairs.

One local attorney told News Leader 9, tenants have rights and there are specific things they can do to protect themselves.

“My air had been out since the second of July. On the sixth they answered and they didn’t get anybody until Tuesday,” said one Columbus resident who didn’t want to be identified.

Nadine Alexander told News Leader 9, “They’re supposed to come and do this and then they’re always talking about they’re sorry. I’m sorry for them too but they need to come and do what they need to damn do because they ain’t doing what they’re supposed to do.”, said the Columbus woman. “You got to keep calling, keep calling, until the send somebody over there. The only thing they do was open that closet, take a picture, and put a fan on the floor. Sh**ing me.”

Residents at one Columbus apartment complex told News Leader 9 they are fed up with sweating day in and out and being uncomfortable somewhere they pay to lay their head. We tried checking in with the property manager at the apartment complex about issues some residents said they’re having but no one was available to comment.

While we’re still waiting on a response, one Columbus attorney told us if you find yourself in this situation, you have options on what you can do. Attorney Ralston Jarrett advises put everything in writing. According to him, the best way to go about notifying a landlord is by emailing, writing a letter, or sending a fax.

“The first thing a tenant should do is provide notice. The landlord can’t fix anything if they aren’t notified. So if we do have to go to court, everything is documented already.”, said Jarrett. “Seek damages from the landlord. Hey my AC is out. My landlord won’t fix it. Also you can try and seek self help. That’s when you hire somebody to fix the problem. You get the bill, and subtract that from your rent.”

Jarrett went on to say, people living on Section 8 should seek guidance from their local housing authority. He says tenants do not have the right to withhold rent, but can deduct from their cost if they have to take things into their own hands and have a receipt.

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