Rental property / Apartment in disrepair
Hello, I'm submitting this because things with my landlord and her daughter are reaching a boiling point. Let me explain...
My wife and I have been renting the upstairs unit in a split level duplex for almost 4 years. The day we looked at it initially it was a very snowy Sunday and I really couldn't look at the condition of the outside of the house. She assured me that the house had a beautiful yard and that it was a quiet street normally. When the snow melted it became quite clear that the yard is nothing more than a weed patch and the street that had been quiet on that Sunday is actually a busy thoroughfare. Whatever. I can deal with that. I've fixed up the yard considerably over the years and I don't expect anything for that. The real problem lies with the rest of the house. The lady is a slumlord, plain and simple. The tiles in the shower and the drywall behind them are sagging and bulging. The bathroom floor is sinking in as well and the toilet is sitting at an angle because the floor is giving way. I've complained twice and she's done nothing.
Her daughter moved in downstairs from us recently (ugh) and I've shown her the bathroom as well and she copped an attitude like it's my fault. There's no, I mean NO, water pressure and the drains are all slow. Once again, my complaints fall on deaf ears. The awning over the back patio started to come loose a year ago after a serious windstorm. We told her that the fiberglass panels were probably going to blow off the next time it got windy. As usual she did nothing and when they did finally blow away she implied that it was my fault since I was capable of fixing them when they came loose initially and I didn't climb up there and fix them for her. All the doors and door jambs have dry rot and the screws that hold them in place pull out constantly. The place is drafty and has the original windows from when the place was built in the 60's. They are the kind that crank out vertically and most of them no longer work since the cranks are all stripped out.
That's most of the big issues. My question is: What do I do? My wife and I want to move out ASAP, but we know she'll try to keep out $750 deposit and claim that all the maintenance items that she hasn't addressed are our fault. What do I do? What are my options? Can I file a complaint on her with some state agency? If so, who? I don't have enough money to hire a lawyer, BTW.
If any of you can help me, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks, Ed