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KJL LAW, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 619
Experience:  Attorney at Law Office of KJLLAW
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We just moved into a rental. Washing machine doesn't work.

Customer Question

We just moved into a rental. Washing machine doesn't work. Property manager says we are responsible. Lease says we are responsible for items we break--totally reasonable, but we didn't break the machine. It is easily 30 years old and it clearly states in the contract that we are not responsible for normal wear and tear. Any advice would be appreciated as we are ready to move forward with an attorney
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 7 months ago.

Good afternoon. What state are you located?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 7 months ago.
Under California law, the washer is the property of the landlord/owner and as such, he/she is responsible for their maintenance and repair, unless you misuse or otherwise cause the damage through conduct which goes beyond average use. Since this is an old machine, after years of normal use, typical wear and tear causes appliances to fail, and it is the landlord who is financially responsible for your appliance's repair or replacement.
Remember the landlord owns it, and you are only paying him/her to use those items under your lease. Under the law, if you can't use the washer, your rent should be reduced because your housing services have been decreased.
Remember, the management company is acting on behalf of the landlord and all the above applies to the
management company who is acting as the landlord’s agent. You also have an argument that if the landlord denies
the repair and asks you to buy a new appliance then you can get a monthly rent reduction because now YOU are
now responsible for the replacing the washer and the cost shou ld be passed on to the landlord.
I hope this helps.
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 7 months ago.

if you have any other questions, please just ask.

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