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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38801
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired (mostly)
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On February 2, 2015, I retained the services of a property

Customer Question

On February 2, 2015, I retained the services of a property manager who in turn rented my home on February 17, 2015 to the current tenant. I received notice on May 27 that the tile floor in the bathroom is caving in. I traveled 200 miles from where I now live to my rental property to find the floor in fact is caving in. I witnessed a washcloth was stuffed into the overflow drain on the claw foot bathtub, and both the shower liner and curtain draped outside of the tub. I took pictures to document this for future needs. The tenant claims that she stuffed the washcloth into the over flow because if water splashed into the drain water would drip onto the floor through a leak in the drain pipe. And she declares that she and her three children shower/bathe with the liner inside the tub. I would like to note that my father drove with me to the property and witnessed all this as well. Before I left I placed a 5/8" piece of plywood over the hole and my father and I stood on it to make sure it would be sturdy enough for the short term. I want to evict the tenant based on her destruction of my property, but my property manager wants to give her what time is needed to find other arrangements, saying her explanation is reasonable. I would like to know if the drain pipe was leaking why she did not call the property manager. And I would like to know why my property manager did not go to the property himself to survey the situation, instead letting me drive 400 miles round trip to 'safe up' the floor until we could figure out what to do next. These are not actions and decisions that I find to be reasonable. I am also worried about mold/mildew and what affect this might have in future renting/selling of this property. I would like to know what your thoughts are, and what actions you would recommend? Thank you for your time and expertise! xxxx xxxxxx
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Hello, It's not clear from your facts as to whether or not you actually checked the pipe for a leak? If you didn't, then you're case is weak, because you cannot prove that the tenant's story is false. In my opinion, the first thing to do is to hire a plumber to investigate, and report back (and, obviously, repair the plumbing and the floor, because you don't want the tenant or his/her children to be injured. If the plumber is willing to testify that the leak likely caused the damage, then you will lose this dispute. Conversely, if a plumber will testify that there is no leak, then the water overflowed the tub, ant that is the tenant's responsibility -- which means you win. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using justanswer.com!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If she thinks the pipe is leaking she has a duty to call the property manager, no?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
That's an excellent point. The answer in my opinion, depends on the nature of the leak. If it's practically nothing, and all of a sudden breaks open, then it may not have been a big enough deal, until it was too late to do anything. Lots of faucets drip, but they don't necessarily turn into disasters. But, if this damage has occurred over an extended period, then you're correct. The tenant should have notified the property manager, the failure to do so is "waste," and the tenant is liable for the damage. I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.Thanks again for using justanswer.com!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You are just giving me opinions, practically nothing is still a leak, and she would have the responsibility to notify
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
My opinions are typically consistent with judicial reasoning -- which means that a court is likely to rule similarly to what I am telling you right now. However, in the interest of customer service, I will reopen the question for others to assist. Please do not reply to this message, as it will slow down getting a new contributor involved in your question. Best wishes with your legal dilemma.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Don't bother what a waste.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for using justanswer.com!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You don't even know how to use your and you're correctly! Pathetic giving legal advice
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Apparently, a minor clerical error is worthy of your ire. I regret my inability to satisfy you. I do the best I can.
Thanks again for using justanswer.com!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can google Latin also. Bfd. Doesn't change your English skills
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And the law does care when the meaning of something changes. You aren't an attorney
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Thanks again for using justanswer.com!