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A Fire sprinkler in the apartment above mine malfunctioned…

Customer Question
A Fire sprinkler in...

A Fire sprinkler in the apartment above mine malfunctioned and went off flooding the entire unit, and then caused water damage to mine. I had water pouring down through my ceiling in a few spots, and then it continued to drip for hours. My hallway carpet was saturated and my living room and bathroom ceiling were water damaged. I was told by the on call maintenance that night to go stay in a hotel and the apartment would have to reimburse me. I stayed in a hotel for 3 days and was not offered any solution until the 3rd day when they told me I could stay in their model apartment. They are now saying that because it was not due to negligence on their part the corporate office will not be reimbursing me for hotel rental. what can I do? I can't afford to be out $360+ dollars for hotel bills and I'm paying for the increase in utilities from their fans and giant dehumidifiers that they have had going around the clock for almost a week now

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

MN

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

As far as...

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I haven't filed any legal action, I provided them with my hotel receipts and asked for reimbursement for that as well as the increase in utilities

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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3/9/2018
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 14,284
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

This appears to be a violation of the implied warranty (promise) of habitability if the place was flooded and caused you to leave. All residential leases and rental agreements contain an implied warranty of habitability. Under the "implied warranty of habitability," the landlord is legally responsible for repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit's habitability. That is, the landlord must repair substantial defects in the rental unit and substantial failures to comply with state and local building and health codes. However, the landlord is generally not responsible under the implied warranty of habitability for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets. The usual measure of damages is either 1) a cancellation of the lease agreement; 2) a withholding of the rent until the item is repaired; or 3) you repair the matter yourself and request reimbursement. In your case, the landlord not only has a requirement to pay for the repairs, but also must also either reimburse you or abate the rent for the time that you were gone.

You may want to consider just writing a drafting a notice to the landlord detailing the problems and that you will exercise one of those options if they do not make the necessary repairs to the property. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

How else can I help you today?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The issue isn't the repairs the issue is I had to stay in a hotel until they finally offered me another option and they are saying they won't pay the hotel bill
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I've been displaced now for almost a week while they dry it out and repair it
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I understand. Maybe what I put was confusing. If you had to leave the building because of the damage to your property, they're required to a) repair and b) either reimburse you for the hotel stay or they're required to reduce your rent for the days that you were out. Does that make sense?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
They are trying to say they don't have to because it wasn't due to negligence on their part. It was just a freak accident but regardless I was still displaced because of a building malfunction.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

They just don't want to pay. They're responsible even if it is for freak accidents. Either their insurance company or the renter's insurance company can help them be reimbursed.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
what do I do?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
My renter's insurance has a $500 deductible that has to be met before payment so that's no help
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

No, not yours; the renter above you. The landlord will owe, trust me.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
what do I do to get them to pay? I can't afford a lawyer to go to court
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I understand. Court isn't always the best option. I posted this earlier, but I'll post it again. You may want to consider just writing a drafting a notice to the landlord detailing the problems and that you will exercise one of those options if they do not make the necessary repairs to the property. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Is there a website I can go to that talks about tenant rights and landlord responsibility
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Of course. If you click here, you can see it for your state specifically.

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Just remember that even "Freak accidents" must be fixed by the landlord. Did you have any other questions for me today?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
They are fixing it they just aren't reimbursing for my hotel
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I'm sorry, let me clarify: by "fixing" I mean that if the issue causes you to leave, it's an unlawful eviction basically and if they don't follow the eviction procedures, then they must either reimburse or deduct the rent.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Can I get your name please or where you practice at?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

My name is ***** ***** I run my own practice. I won't be able to help you unfortunately because I'm not licensed in your state.

One of the hardest things to do sometimes is find a lawyer that you can trust. Google searches are a good place to start, but usually the lawyers who pay the most in advertising can get bumped up to be on the first page regardless of their quality. One thing I recommend is going through your state’s lawyer referral service (LRS). The LRS in each state typically requires the attorney to have several years of practice, be free of discipline, and have adequate staffing to assist people. Here is the link for theMinnesota LRS click here.

You can also search for attorneys on a website called Lawyer Legion (click here) that scours all 50 states based on the kind of attorney you need.

Did you have any other questions for me today?

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