My sister, has been renting a house in North Carolina past 4…
My sister, Kelly has been...
My sister, Kelly has been renting a house in North Carolina for the past 4 months. Last Friday she saw water coming up from around the base of her toilet and up into her bathtub. She cleaned it up and immediately called the leasing agent and told them there must be a leak or clog somewhere. They hired a contractor to go to her house to see where the leak was coming from.Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
Long story short the leak was a break in the sewer line, not the line on the property, but the line for the city. The city will be fixing the sewer break, however the leasing agent sent my sister a bill for $3,000 for the damage that the plumber did to the house. The plumber came and saw that there was no leak or break in the house, but said there was water under the carpet and linoleum. He had an infrared moisture reader. My sister cleaned up all the water, but yes the carpet was still damp, not wet. There was no water under the linoleum either. She was their while the plumber and his crew were ripping up carpet and hauling it out and cutting up linoleum and baseboards. She said there was no water anywhere except for the carpet being damp.
They are holding Kelly responsible for the break, claiming it burst due to tampons and baby wipes. She has lived there only 4 months, she has no baby, and she uses flush able tampons. However, even non flush able tampons would not cause a break in a mere 4 months, probably not even a clog. However, it's highly likely that the pipe was already clogged prior to Kelly even moving into the house. They said she has to pay for the plumber, newcarpet, new linoleum and the labor to do it ($3k). They want her to set up a payment plan immediately and send them a letter because she is disputing her responsibility in it. What should she do?
Her lease states this in regards ***** *****:
"Tenants shall be responsible for all damages, defacement or removal of any property inside the dwelling unit in the tenants exclusive control unless the damage, defacement or removal was due to ordinary ware and tear, acts of the landlord, or the landlords agent, defective products supplied or repairs authorized by the landlord, acts of 3rd parties, not invitees of the tenant, or natural forces. Tenants agree to pay the landlord for the cost of repairing any damage for which tenant is responsible upon receipt of landlords demand therefore, and to pay the rent during the period the premises may not be habitable as a result of any such damage. Such damage may include but is not limited to: ***** ***** or screens, filthy ovens, refrigerators, kitchen floors, cabinets, bathrooms, drink stains on the carpet, and unauthorized paint colors.
The plumber was hired by the landlord, they approved what he did, Kelly did not. Again she's lived there for 4 months and could not be her fault. Can they hold her responsible and make her pay the $3k for the plumber and the damages he did to their property?