Advice Needed For Dealing With Landlords

** EDIT: For anyone wondering, yes, we did sign a lease. We rent through a realty company, but do have an actual landlord, who we have never met. Our lease is only a half a page long, and is basically a “Dear John” letter, with next to no specifics on who fixes what, other than that the tenant is in charge of “basic” repairs and upkeep. I’m pretty sure that pulling up a toilet, which has been caulked to the floor, and replacing a wax ring, is not basic, right?

Hello, friends. I need some advice. I’ve always rented, and currently live in a not-so-fancy, not really up-to-date apartment. We have had a lot of issues, as many of you have read, but we’ve been dealing with a lot of issues that were preexisting, from before we moved in, that I have been researching. I don’t know how long we are going to be in this place, at least another half a year, but since I have a very mobile toddler now, I want it to be safe.

Recently, I’ve been growing more concerned about our toilet. So, the linoleum in our bathroom was quite discolored when we moved in, and there is a VERY large yellow and gray stain all around our toilet. I didn’t think much about it, mostly because I was naive, and obviously they knew about it before we moved in, and I assumed whatever caused it had been fixed, and the floor was just permanently discolored now. Recently, I’ve been doing some research, because I don’t know if it is my imagination or not, but the stain seems to be growing, and I discovered that it probably means that there is a faulty wax ring, creating leaks under the floor. The floor around the toilet also does not appear to be 100% sound, and was also like that when we moved in, but doesn’t appear to have gotten worse. I can see that the toilet is poorly caulked to the floor, and has been caulked for a while, which probably means they haven’t fixed anything with it in a long time, right?

I know that I need to contact them to fix it, because it is absolutely their responsibility to make sure that our plumbing is all working properly, and is not a hazard. Does anyone know if there is anything that can be done about the floor discoloration? The stain is MASSIVE, and hideous. We don’t have any windows in our bathroom, so we can’t get any direct sunlight on the spot, which I read helps, and I’m assuming that nothing can be done until the moisture under the floor is taken care of anyway. Would they have to tear up the floor? How long does it take to repair a wax ring? What if there is a mold problem, would I have to pay an inspector to find out? How should I go about asking them to get this all done? They’ve always been so flaky when it comes to fixing things around the apartment (we’ve been here a year and a half and I still have a hole in my kitchen ceiling waiting to be covered…). Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this before?

Thanks for reading, friends. Any advice is welcome!

Jan