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Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 29011
Experience:  Attorney with 30 years of experience representing landlords and tenants.
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On February 15, we rented a house. Upon move in, we found

Customer Question

On February 15, we rented a house. Upon move in, we found many plumbing and air conditioning/heating issues and immediately notified the property management company. Apparently the homeowner has a home warranty contract so they contacted the home warranty company to come fix the issues. The first time, we were not notified they would be coming out and received a call that he was 30 minutes away. Since we had no idea they were coming, were out and told him we would leave and be home in 45 minutes- he told us we needed to reschedule because he couldn't wait 15 minutes, even though we were rearranging our schedule. We rescheduled and were given a 5 hour window that they would be out between 8-1. I took 1/2 day off work. I received a call at 12:45 that he would be there in 30 mins. We had to reschedule since I had to leave at 1:15 for work. This happened 2 more times before I had to take a full day off to make this happen. He arrived at 1:45(45 mins outside if the window). I showed him the leaks and And clogs. He proceeded to write them down and said he would have to get approval from the home warranty (who were the ones that called them out to begin with) and come back another day...needless to say, I was upset that I had to take yet another day off of work to accommodate these repairs on a house that doesn't even belong to me! Two weeks later he came out and fixed all issues but the washing machine which had been leaking for a very long time based on the rust and corrosion, which he said was appliance issues and not a plumbing issue. Stunned, I contacted the property management company and advise them that the washing machine leak still wasn't fixed and according to the plumber it was appliance department that needs to fix it. Two weeks later I was contacted by the appliance repair person Who yet again I needed to take another day off of work to meet with, came out and said it was an a standard hose that needed to be replaced. He stated he needed to get approval from the home warranty company to replace a five dollar hose that can be purchased at Home Depot?? I told him he could even use the one on the back of my washer in the garage but he refused. It is now April and the leak from the washing machine that the management company was notified February 19 has still not been fixed. I've had to take six days off of work and will need to take another day off of work before this is resolved. Do I have any recourse? Can I charge the homeowner for the time I have missed from work? This seems very unreasonable. What can I do?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.
Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.
Do you have a written lease? Does it provide that the tenant will be provided a working washing machine and other appliances?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We do have a written lease. It only states the appliances are included- they all appear to be over 15 years Old- none of them work properly- oven doesn't hear evenly, microwave doesn't heat properly, dryer just started squealing- washer is leaking and putting more than 2 towels or 1 pair of jeans causes it to spin off balance. it smells Like there was water damage at one time- The only thing it states is we are responsible for the first $100 in repair costs.
When doing the initial walk
Through, it had just been painted and looked in good condition- we didn't look closely at the appliances or look for leaks, etc.
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for the additional information. Since the lease includes the appliances, since the appliances were not provided in good working order, you can sue the landlord for breaching the lease and, while it is unlikely a court would compensate you for your time in a contract case,you can recover damages or force the landlord to install new appliances.You can sue the landlord in small claims court. Small claims court is designed to be "user friendly" so that you can present a claim without an attorney. Also, it moves much more quickly than regular court. You can get the necessary forms to start from the clerk of the court.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The landlord states she is trying to have the appliances fixed but that requires me to stay home and wait for her home warranty company- I cannot take anymore time off of work for this. This is ridiculous already. How can I force her to install new appliances? Is she in breach of the lease that I can terminate it and not be held responsible for the remaining 10 months? How will small claims court force her to take care of the issue?
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.
Small claims court can force her to address the issue by imposing money damages on the landlord for breaching the lease.
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.
Unfortunately, the unit is still habitable without a washing machine. So, terminating the lease is not really an option since the landlord would need to be breaching the warranty of habitability to be able to do that in order be able to terminate the lease.
Expert:  Loren replied 8 months ago.
You can also, after giving notice, have the washing machine repaired yourself and then sue the landlord for the cost of the repair.

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