If a home was just purchased what can be done if, while preparing to replace the carpet, we found rotted particle board and hardwood flooring and the damage was simply covered up?
Question Details: I have lived in my current home for just over 2 years. Some stuff happened with the previous property managers and the house ended up being bought very recently (I want to say less than a month ago) by my father-in-law. While preparing to replace the carpet, we found rotted particle board and hardwood flooring. Is there anything I might legally be able to do about this?
If you are a rent-paying tenant of your father-in-law, and if (as you seem to indicate) the rot posses a health hazard, your father-in-law, as your landlord, must remediate (repair or replace; clean up) the flooring. The law requires landlords to provide residences that are safe and fit to live in; this is called the "implied warranty of habitability." If he won't do so voluntarily, you could withhold rent to force him to do so (put the withheld rent in a bank account or other safe place; if/when he takes you to court for your nonpayment and you raise the lack of habitability as a defense, the court may ask you to deposit the money). Alternately, if you feel that this is an urgent health hazard, you could affirmatively go and bring a legel action seeking a court order requiring him to make repairs; you can get instructions on what to do/file from your court (e.g. the clerk).
If you are a tenant and this is not a health or safety hazard, he has no obligationt to fix it; he can just carpet over it.
If you are not a tenant, but a guest (allowed to stay there without paying rent) of your father-in-law, you can't force him to make repairs; guests, no matter how long they have been in a place, cannot require the property owner to change or fix anything.