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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31985
Experience:  16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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my key got stuck in the lock of the front door. After several

Customer Question

my key got stuck in the lock of the front door. After several failed attempts to contact the landlord I pushed and pulled on the key and door the key broke in the lock and the wood by the bolt above the lock with the key broke out o the door. The wood was rotten from water damage. Am I as a tenant responsible for this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.

I will work diligently to answer your question. While I am permitted to provide you with legal information, I am prohibited by Justanswer.com and various state bar associations from giving legal advice, representing you, or entering into an attorney-client relationship through this open forum. Do you understand and agree to these provisions as well as Justanswer.com’s disclaimer?

Can you prove that the water damage cause the key to fail? Who caused the water damage?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The water damage did not cause the key to get stuck but the wood broke from the door and after seeing the damage the wood is rotted and soft.
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
I see. Do you agree to the provisions set forth above regarding legal information and not legal advice?

Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes I understand. I am just looking for information about my rights as a tenant. The key broke in the faulty lock and the door is old with water damage. It broke around the dead bold and is repairable. It does not seem that areplacement is necessary. I would like to be able to speek with him tomorrow and understand the law and know that I am not responsible.
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Thank you.

The answer is not as clear cut as you might want it to be. Typically, each party is responsible for their own negligence and a tenant is not responsible for normal wear and tear of the property. Assuming the door damages and faulty lock were not caused by you in any way and you were using the lock normally, then you would typically not be responsible for damages unless you specifically agreed to repair and maintain the property in the language of the lease. So, you would likely NOT be responsible to repair OR replace the door, whichever the landlord chooses.

If they do not repair or replace it promptly, you can generally terminate the lease and move out since a locking door is an important aspect of the property and you could argue that they breached the lease and violated the implied warranty of habitability by failing to resolve the situation quickly.

Best regards,

Tina

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So, unless it is stated in the lease that the tenant is responsible for onsite repairs I should be covered under the lease for a faulty lock which is a safety issue.

 

Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
That's right.

All the best to you.

Please remember: even if you have a subscription with Justanswer.com, I do not get credited for my work by Justanswer.com until you press the ACCEPT button. A Bonus is always appreciated. Thanks again.

Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31985
Experience: 16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Tina and 6 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your informative assistance!
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
You are very welcome. Good luck to you!

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