Problems with apartment, discrimination

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Question

Country: United States of America
State: New Mexico

August 1, 2005, my sister and I moved into an apartment. This would be her second time renting and my first. Our move in date was the 1st of August. Well when we went t sign the lease and get our keys the apartment wasn't ready. None of the cleaning was done, a lot needed to be fixed, and the carpet needed replacement. The management of the apartment said that the 5th of August everything will be done and we could move in. Since we liked the apartment and we liked the community, we decided to wait until the 5th to move in. When the 5th came around the management refused to give us our pro-rated amount, they said it would be cheaper for us to not pro-rate. A move in special that they have is if you move in on the 1st of the month you receive $100 off the rent for the first half of you rent, but since we were getting pro-rated we lost the discount. I was bother by that so, I talked to the management that it wasn't our fault that we couldn't move in on the first and that we were entitled to the discount at our pro-rated amount. Management said they couldn't authorize our request and would have to contact the owners of the apartments. When moved in, there was still some maintenance that still needed to be done. The sliding door need to be repaired which they were aware of and the fire extinguisher needed to be serviced, it was over filled; and other little things. While living there our sink started to leak, when they fixed it there was water damage underneath the sink. I notified them of it. Over time the damaged turned into a leak then into a puddle and then mildew started growing. Again I notified them of it. One evening the key broke in the lock, which I too notified them of, and emergency maintenance had to come down. He fixed the lock and my aunt and I showed him the puddle under the sink and he turned off the water and said he'll be in tomorrow to fix it. The next day he never came back, instead they fixed our floor and unhooked our over in the process. My sister called them to tell them that we had no water and out stove wasn't hooked up. While all of this was going on by our state law we are able to abate, with hold 1/3 of the pro-rated daily amount if the management doesn't make a repair within 7 days of written notice, which we gave them noticed that we would be abating the rent. I eventually got sick and hydrated and I was out of work for a week and had to go to the hospital due to the lack of water and unable to eat properly. We sent them another notice of abatement and called a housing inspector. After that, they fixed the puddle under the sink, turned our water on and hooked up the stove; they still neglected the sliding door and fire extinguisher. The management then took us to court for withholding our rent. On the 12th of October 2005, the courts order a judgment for us to pay an amount, which we paid. We then told them again of the sliding door and the fire extinguisher on the day we went to court. They didn't fix it until November 3rd, 2005. We are not terminated our lease because my sister and I feel harassed, discriminated on our age, and that the management neglected there duties. I want to know what our legal rights are. I have copies of the notices that we went to the management and witness who care verify that the management new of what was going on.

Answer

Based on what you say here, you could probably file suit against them (or at least threaten to do so) in small claims court or in regular court; filing in small claims court is easier and requires no attorney...you could try to collect all of the costs and damages that you suffered due to their behavior... You may also report them to your state attorney general's office.
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