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Tenants Rights involving Repairs

Posted by Fed up! on January 06, 2002 at 16:16:10:

I'm living in a townhome in Los Angeles, California. The building of approximately 300 units was built in 1999. I have a written lease.
During the rainy seasons, November to March, the steps that lead to my apartment are doused in deep puddles of rain, so much in December that one of my guests nearly slip and fell. Upon returning from my vacation, it rained so much while I was away that as I climbed the stairwell with my luggage, my foot also slipped and I dropped my luggage on my foot. This is obviously a safety hazard.
I wrote to the landlord three weeks ago about the matter a few days after the incident with my guest. I received no response nor have the steps been repaired. When I returned from vacation (after the second incident) I sent another letter of complaint that I included with my rent. After I received no response again, two days later, I withdrew the monies in my account for the rent to allow the check to be returned. It is obvious that the landlord received my complaint included with my check for rent since that night the check went through my account; of course, it was returned unpaid. I have decided since my landlord is quick to cash my rent checks but TOTALLY ignoring my requests and safety concerns, I should not pay any more rent until this matter is resolved. Is it my right as a tenant to withhold rent as such in this particular matter?

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