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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116707
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I moved in March 1, 2015 and the landlord had shut off the

Customer Question

I moved in March 1, 2015 and the landlord had shut off the electric and gas upon our move in date. We were able to turn on electric by the following business day, but gas wasn't able to be turned on until March 5. When the gas was finally turned on, a
few days later a pipe busted causing minor water damage in basement. Next issue, on or about June the toliet in the room I am renting water was running. I stepped into the bathroom a few hours later and noticed that there was water saturating the floor which
I mopped up right away. A few hours later, my roommate noticed a water spot on the ceiling in the kitchen and notified the landlord. I just met with the landlord on September 12th to do my pre move inspection, she notified me that I would lose some of my deposit
roughly $800 for fees associated with these repairs. I questioned her on the first issue, the water pipe burst and she said that my roommate and I were notified ahead of time to turn on the electric and gas. However, we were still living in another residence
and not in the home. I live in the state of VA until the end of the month and if there are references to the issues above can you cite them as well so when I write my letter to my landlord. Also, I was never provided copies of receipts but I was told amount
based off what she wrote in a book which included charges for mileage.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Did the lease state you were liable for utilities (gas/electric)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I am afraid that if the contract made you liable to get utilities, he had the right to turn them off prior to your lease starting and it was up to you to make sure they were turned on timely. Any damage occurring during that time if there was a delay would be the fault of the tenant if the lease was for 3/1 and he turned his utilities off that day and you did not turn them on that day as the lease provided.

As far as damage from water from the toilet, that too is liability of the tenant, as the tenant is supposed to exercise caution over running water, so they are supposed to check the toilets or sinks and any overflow is their liability (unlike a broken pipe which would be the landlord's liability).

The landlord MUST provide you receipts and proof of the damage in order to collect, what they wrote in a book is NOT evidence, they need actual receipts or repair estimates to collect.

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