Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Virginia

I rent a apt. 3 months ago I told the landlord about repairs needing fixed and finally informed them I would not pay rent until this was fixed. I kept the rent so I would have it for when I did. The major problem is "mold" all over the bathroom, some in the kitchen, behind the refrigerator and yesterday when I went to get something from under my bed "everything" was moldy!

The landlord took me to court to evict me for not paying rent. When I went and was going to explain to the judge and show evidence about why I hadn't paid rent, the person they sent to represent them knew nothing about the case so the Judge said the case was "dead".

My question is, is there anything I can do for the loss of everything that's been destroyed and pain and suffering me and my 3 children had to suffer and if so how do I go about doing this? I have never been in this predictament before

Asked on 7/08/13, 1:30 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Assuming that the landlord's case to evict you was dismissed, the proper

way to go about using the withholding of rents as leverage to facilitate

needed repairs is NOT to start unilaterally withholding payment on your own but

rather to go to the clerk's office of the general district court and explain that you wish to ASSERT A RENT ESCROW ACCOUNT with the court into which you can pay your rents until the landlord has undertaken and completed whatever repairs are needed to be made to your rental unit.

And, no, you can forget about damage claims for your "pain and suffering" allegedly caused by the landlord's failure to make these repairs that you had previously requested as these are not recoverable for the situation described.

Read more
7/08/13, 1:47 pm

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