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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney.
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I am new to an apartment complex. I put in a complaint at

Customer Question

I am new to an apartment complex. I put in a complaint at the end of July about the washer / dryer damaging (putting holes in my clothes and pulling apart towels). They had the fuses looked (which was their supposed testing of the units). I tried getting in contact with them over the next 6 weeks to let them know more clothes and towels have been ruined. It wasn't until someone that normally isn't in the office had them get someone to look and change out the appliances in my unit. The manager stated it isn't their responsibility to make sure this was corrected and they aren't liable for the damages. Due to the neglect I have put my notice in and they are stating I am responsible for breaking the lease, but per the law aren't they responsible for the appliances to be in good working ordered?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

The answer here is somewhat complicated and likely not as favorable as you may hope, so I ask that you do not blame the messenger. Having the appliances to be in good working order is only a responsibility if your lease states that such appliances are part of your unit. In other words, if your lease states that you have a washer, then that washer must be in good working order. If that washer is not in good working order, you can demand repairs, or sue via the courts by claiming breach of lease terms. But, even so, it is not enough to claim that the apartment is now 'uninhabitable' or that you have grounds to terminate the lease--the landlord can still hold you to the terms of the lease agreement. Their potential breach does not grant you the right or ability to walk away from the lease.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is part of my lease and in my unit. So I can counter sue them for all of the damages done to my items. It has damaged over $1000 worth of clothes and towels.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I am afraid no, while you can sue for repairs and for punitive damages as far as failing to make those repairs, you cannot sue for the actual damages--that is something that is covered by your renter's insurance policy. You can attempt to include those costs as part of your suit, but unless you can prove that the landlord knew and failed to notify you that the equipment would damage your items, they are likely not liable to you for those costs. But because you can sue for punitive damages of up to 3 times your monthly rent, you may be able to recoup your losses through punitive damages anyway if the judge grants them to you.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had sent them photo graphs of the damaged items and all they checked was fuses. They didn't do further testing and when I called several times they did not to address it, damages just for worse and ruined most of the my works. They blamed me for not using the washer / dryer properly, which I'm not sure unless I lack common sense, wouldn't know how to wash and dry clothes.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

If you continued to use the washer after being informed (or finding out) that the washer did not properly work, they could indeed argue that they aren't responsible. Please understand that I am attempting to explain how a judge would evaluate, and whether or not a judge would see if it was reasonable for someone to use an item that is known to be malfunction. But again, damages to your property and items are covered under your renter's insurance in most instance and not by the landlord.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

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