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A-LEGAL-MIND
A-LEGAL-MIND, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 466
Experience:  Owner of a law firm which handles real estate transactions.
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A faulty dryer (exhaust) connection has caused excessive dust

Resolved Question:

A faulty dryer (exhaust) connection has caused excessive dust collection in my apartment recently. The connection issue was caused by a contractor provided by my landlord. My health has suffered recently and I'm now using an inhaler for the first time in my life from my physician. The landlord has agreed to send in a cleaning crew to do some "dusting" but that can't be done until Monday Oct 7th. Do I have any right to request any medical reimbursement and something other than a cleaning crew performing some "dusting"?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  A-LEGAL-MIND replied 1 year ago.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

I would be happy to help answer your question for you today. Please allow me a short bit of time to read through your question and formulate a response and possibly ask some additional questions.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

Yes, you do have the right to have your landlord provide a habitable place to live and to have your landlord fix the dryer connection which is causing the durst leakage, as opposed to simply cleaning it up once. From the fact pattern you have listed it sounds as if you have already discovered that there is a problem with the dryer connection and have reported this to your landlord. In addition, you are now attributing health problems to the issue. There are a couple of issues here..............Your landlord must provide you with a place that is habitable, meaning liveable to a reasonable person (under the law). In this case, he may not be doing so by having you live in a situation which as you state...may be causing you health issues.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

It is always best to document what has happened and your request for the repair in writing in case this does turn into a legal matter.

Customer:

Thank you. I'

A-LEGAL-MIND :

In the case of a landlord refusing to make repairs which are covered in the lease agreement one has the option of paying for the repairs him/herself and withholding this amount from the rent..........or if the problem is severe enough and it can be proven that it is directly causing health issues (which the landlord does not provide a reasonable fix for........this may be debateable)......One may consider moving out and breaking the lease without penalty.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

It seems from your fact pattern that the fix provided will only be temporary as he has merely offered to vacum up what is currently on the floor, but is doing nothing to prevent the dust from coming back (ie. replacing the faulty connection)........which is likely to cause you continued health issues.

Customer:

I've been trying to keep as many notes as possible. This has not been a long standing issue. It just came up recently in the past month when I became ill and over the counter meds were not helping. At first, they were not willing to do anything as far as cleanup until I insisted. My renters insurance only covers water, fire, and smoke damage but not this.

Customer:

The repair has been made to the dryer vent and reconnected properly with a clamp as it should be.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

Ok, I see..............well that would seem to be a correction of the problem within a reasonable time..........as is required of the landlord.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

Or did you make the repairs yourself?

A-LEGAL-MIND :

If so, you can always present the receipts to the landlord and request reimbursement........due to their faulty repairs.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

or not having repaired them timely when requested. Again make sure you put it in a letter and document sending the letter.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

In regards XXXXX XXXXX medical issues, do you feel that your place is now one conducive to your health? The problem has been corrected right?

A-LEGAL-MIND :

Now you are simply concerned about past medical expenses you had to pay as a result of the fautly connection right?

Customer:

The landlord hired a crew to clean dryer vents when they bought my complex in March. The vent cleaning company is actually the liable source of the problem. They used aluminum tape backed with adhesive to attach the exhaust vent rather than using the clamp (which was already there!). The adhesive eventually just melted and dried up and the connection fell off. No telling how long this has been coming apart but it finally just dropped totally apart this past Monday.

Customer:

The landlord did make the repair.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

I see...............well a landlord could be held liable for faulty repairs if they recklessly hire someone not qualified to make a repair, etc. However, this sounds like a fairly simple repair and as you have described it......seems to be one that almost anyone could make. As the landlord did act within a week or so to make the repairs and seems to have repaired the dryer vent issue. It would seem legally he/she did what was required.

Customer:

I see the medical side ending up being a he said/they said situation. I could have gotten a sinus and upper respiratory issue without dust being a contributor, they could say and there would be no way to dispute that, I don't think.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

How is the medical situation currently? Are you all better now?

A-LEGAL-MIND :

What was the amount of expenses involved?

A-LEGAL-MIND :

It seems that.........due to the simple nature of the repair, the landlord acted competently in hiring a crew to come in and make the repair (albeit, it seems to have been a faulty one initially). However, he/she acted within a reasonable time. If he/she had delayed and your condition worsened...........as mentioned above...you may have been able to consider moving out and claiming the apartment was uninhabitable.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

However, it sounds as if you want to stay, the problem has been corrected, and at this point you simply want reimbursement for medical expenses that you feel were caused by the faulty repair correct?

Customer:

I agree that the landlord did make the repair timely and have no dispute there. My concern is that there is still a considerable amount of dust and particulates on everything in this apartment. I should not even be here right now: my stupidity and/or stubbornness. Most of the medical expenses are covered by my health insurance. Those costs are not my concern at this point. I'd just like your opinion on the extent of cleaning I should require to make the apartment safe and liveable.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

If this is the case..........I would say.....one in your situation may have issues proving the linkage between the poor repair and a medical condition.............however, that being said. I would not underestimate the power of writing a letter requesting reimbursement due to a faulty repair. If the explanation is reasonable and documented with receipts/expenses.

Customer:

Thank you. I appreciate your input.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

If most of the dust/debris is surface matter....laying on top of carpets, etc...........Personally I would simply want them to vacuum it up....to make sure everything visible was gone and consider whether the carpets need to be shampooed, etc.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

I think that would put the apartment back in the livable condition that you rented from them in the first place.

Customer:

Thanks. They owe me a carpet cleaning for renewing my lease anyway. I think I have a little better leverage now to get that done quickly as well !

A-LEGAL-MIND :

I would say so...........especially in the case of a lease renewal. Good luck and please let me know if I can help you in the future with any other questions.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

Thanks for using JustAnswer.

A-LEGAL-MIND :

Please remember to click the green button to Accept my answer if you are satisfied with the help you have received. Thanks again.

A-LEGAL-MIND, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 466
Experience: Owner of a law firm which handles real estate transactions.
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