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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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We had a leak in our bathroom from the upstairs unit. It

Customer Question

We had a leak in our bathroom from the upstairs unit. It took 3 months for them to start working on the problem. They began 9 weeks ago by tearing out the ceiling and walls. They have continued to demolition the bathroom so that now there is no longer a wall between our bathroom and the bathroom in the unit next door, just some plastic sheets. The plumber has shown up only 8 days during the last 6 weeks. Today he was only here for 3 hours and tore out our shower. They have not begun to start actually making repairs. I am wondering what action I can take. I think the amount of time since the actual leak has been adequate for the repairs to have been made. The leak happened on January 5th 2016.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Is this on a rental unit?

Was the plumber hired by the landlord and/or the management company or were they hired by you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It is a rental unit.This leak has happened 4 times previously in the 4 years I have lived here. Previously the management company has sent someone to just repair the damage from the leak and not the actual leak, and informed the residents in the unit above not to use the tub (shower is separate). This plumber was hired by the landlord since we voiced that it was a reoccurring leak that has not been addressed properly.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

You have a couple of options.

You can sue the plumber although there are some issues with that. Since you didn't hire him the judge could say that you have no standing to sue. In addition, there may not be any specific time or dates given to finish the job.

Another option you have is to take the position that this is a "constructive eviction" by the landlord. In a constructive eviction the landlord would be liable for any moving expenses you have, extra deposits, etc. It is a way to get out of the lease and to get the costs covered.

If you want to try constructive eviction you will need to get a lawyer to write a letter for you to the landlord giving them a specific date by which the issue must be corrected as well as warning them if it is not then you will consider it "constructive eviction". You need a lawyer because it has to be worded just right and also because the letter may be used as evidence later and so you want it t be worded in such a way that it sounds better for you.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of something else.

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