My Roof Has Leaked For Six Months, And Landlord Won't Fix It Or Move Me Out

Reader A, who lives in South Carolina, has been stuck in a leaky apartment for six months, enduring a management change and endless broken promises that one day a repair would come. She’s given up on the leak ever being fixed, but is irritated that the landlord won’t pay for her to move to a different apartment.

She writes:

I’m hoping the Consumerist hive mind can help me with an issue I’ve been dealing with for over six months.

On June 16, 2010 the master bedroom window of my apartment started leaking. I reported it to maintenance, who did nothing for almost two months. On August 9, 2010 I sent a certified letter to both my apartment office and their management company. This finally made them take notice, and someone came out to perform the repairs the next day. Two weeks later, though, the window started leaking again, which I reported on August 25, 2010. I was again ignored for almost two months until I sent another certified letter on October 14, 2010. At that point I was finally told that contractors would be coming in at the beginning of November to repair the leak.

This is where my apartment complex was brought under new management. New management had not ever heard of my window leak, and were not aware of any contractors coming out to fix anything. They did promise to fix the problem quickly, and to their credit, their maintenance manager has been trying to get it fixed for the last two months. He has confirmed that the leak is coming from the roof, so the repair is much more difficult than they expected, and there is no time line on when I should expect the problem to be resolved.

On December 20, I called and requested to be moved to another apartment. I asked to be moved as soon as possible, and I asked that they pay the moving expenses, as I am not moving due to any fault of my own. I stated that I did not want to live in the apartment as it was creating an unsafe living environment and damaging my health and my property. Six and a half months of dirty water has been leaking in from the roof, so all of the insulation and sheet rock in that wall are soaked every time it rains, and never get fully dry.

While the local apartment office stated that they completely agreed with me and approving moving costs shouldn’t be a problem, I was told on December 23 that while corporate agreed to transfer me to another apartment, they would not pay any moving costs. I asked for a number for someone at their corporate office and was given the number for Resident Services, but no one has returned any of my calls there.

Is there any way to get these guys to pay my moving costs, or should I be happy they’re letting me move to another apartment?

If you’ve ever lived in such poor conditions and managed to convince your landlord to help you out, please share your advice.