Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: The property I am renting has on going plumbing issues. Last month, I was without proper hot water for 10 days (they fixed it on the 10th day). This month, a leak in the foundation is causing my water heater to run constantly. Thus, my utility bill has tripled. Can I request that the property management company reduce my rent to compensate for the extra high utility bill?

Answer: As a general rule, when a landlord is responsible under a rental agreement for an appliance, and that appliance began to malfunction, and the tenant did not cause or contribute to the malfunction, and the tenant immediately notified the landlord of the malfunction, then the landlord has a duty to repair that appliance. The tenant also likely has a claim to compensation for monetary damages suffered by the tenant as a result of the appliance malfunction, but the specific amount will depend on a number of factors, including how quickly the tenant notified the landlord of the appliance malfunction, how quickly the landlord repaired the appliance, and whether or not the tenant attempted to reduce the monetary damages he suffered. Any request should be made in a signed and dated letter, politely describing exactly what happened and providing a detailed calculation of the amount that the tenant believes the landlord should cover as well as proof in the form of utility bills or meter readings, etc.

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QUESTIONS

  • The property I am renting has on going plumbing issues. Last month, I was without proper hot water for 10 days (they fixed it on the 10th day). This month, a leak in the foundation is causing my water heater to run constantly. Thus, my utility bill has tripled. Can I request that the property management company reduce my rent to compensate for the extra high utility bill?

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