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Tenants turned off heat and left the property vacant for…

Tenants turned off heat and...
Tenants turned off heat and left the property vacant for roughly two weeks during Christmas break from college. Multiple pipes froze and burst throughout the home, causing major damage. I believe this issue falls 100% under negligence &/or a lack of general common sense clause of the lease agreement. I plan to pursue a civil judgement. Do you foresee any issues?
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/9/2018
barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 43,001
Experience: Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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The tenants are entirely liable here under a negligence claim.. They had a legal duty to take reasonable actions during their tenancy to prevent damages to the property. So if you sue them for the cost of repairs, they are entirely liable..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

.

.

thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
This is a single family home in the city of St Louis, MO. Additionally, the tenants have begun to withhold all rent "due to uninhabitable living conditions." I know Missouri is a "warranty of implied habitability" state but the issues are a direct result of their negligence. I won't go the eviction route since they're out in 2 months anyway. Would a judge award attorney fees &/or punitive damages for wrongfully withholding rent?

Punitive damages, probably not. But any normal damages and any actual damages and attorney fees that were incurred as a result of their negligence,yes.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 43,001
Experience: Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years
Verified
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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