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insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 55301
Experience:  Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
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In the State of Georgia: The pipes burst twice in two

Customer Question

In the State of Georgia: The pipes burst twice in two different locations at our single-family rental home. First from the street to the house, then a few months later - under the house. No one's fault. We were not aware until the water bills came in. The landlord was advised immediately. We did our best to shut off the water and only turning it back on to bathe. Is the landlord responsible for the increased water bill payments? They total about $600.00. I have contacted him 3 times, to no avail. The landlord called in 3 plumbers for estimates, finally in the process of completing the whole house re-piping. All 3 plumbers could not find the leak, so it was determined the leak was under the house. Can I legally subtract the water bill payments from the rent (other than paying my normal usage amount)? The house was habitable all during this process.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping.

The landlord is responsible for repairs which are not the fault of the tenant. Thus, the water leak is the responsibility of the landlord and all damages resulting from the water leak. This would include the increased water bill. But, if the landlord contests this after you ask him to pay the increased water bill, here's what I would suggest to avoid the landlord accusing of you of being in default by withholding your rent: I would pay the water bill and then file suit against the landlord in small claims court. You can file this without an attorney and you will avoid the risk of the landlord simultaneously pursuing an eviction against you by alleging you are in default.

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