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barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37067
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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First, let me preface this by saying we have lived in this

Customer Question

First, let me preface this by saying we have lived in this duplex for 18 years with the landlord living in the unit above us. Landlord was told Saturday that our bathroom sink would not drain. Husband has often fixed minor problems in our unit as it is easier than dealing with the landlord, so he attempted to fix clog in the usual way but discovered the clog is further in the pipe going out the wall. Landlord told us he couldn't get a plumber on the weekend (he is notoriously cheap) and we let it slide knowing his history, expecting a plumber today (Monday). This morning he told our daughter (did not want to face one of us) that he couldn't guarantee a plumber until Wed. Meanwhile, our bathroom sink fills with water forcing us to bail it out periodically and we now discover it is water from landlord's bathroom above us! Is there anything we can do to force a fix before Wed.? We cannot be tied to the bathroom sink bailing out his filthy water for three days. Can we legally hire a plumber and deduct it from the rent? Can he refuse to pay for a plumber we hire due to his failure to get the job done in a reasonable time? What constitutes a reasonable time in this case? What must we do to be legal in the way we handle this? Thank you. ***** are in Los Angeles.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question..
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
In a situation like this, if the upstairs water is flowing down into the community drain line and backfilling your sink to a point where it is overflowing and causing the potential for sewer water to contaminate your dwelling, then this would rise to the level of making the unit uninhabitable so as to justify you using the "repair and deduct" option allowed under CA law..I would suggest that you contact the landlord immediately and tell him that the water is filling the sink, this is a health and safety hazard due to the bacteria that are present in sewer and drain lines and if he doesn't have a plumber out today, you will call one and deduct the cost from next month's rent. Make sure you document this, either by text, email, or by having witnesses to the conversation..Then if he doesn't' have a plumber come out today, you can have one out late this afternoon or first thing tomorrow morning to snake out the line to clear any clog and then deduct from next month's rent..As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years.....thanksBarrister

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