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I purchased a new appliance to replace the one provided by…

Customer Question
I purchased a new...

I purchased a new appliance to replace the one provided by my land I asked the rental office if they can remove it they said no it must stay in my rental home legally can they do that?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Maryland

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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3/12/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Legal Eagle
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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?

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

So, the law doesn't specifically say that a landlord must remove old appliances. A court would have to look at the law as its written and try to find out what, if any, violations of your state's landlord-tenant law of occurred.

In this case, this appears to be a violation of the implied warranty (promise) of habitability because having multiple appliances can make the place appear unlivable. 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, for example. At a minimum, landlords are required to make repairs to the premises and a repair remedy could simply be to remove an appliance of theirs.

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.

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.

You may also have a case for trespass to land since their property is on your land without your permission.

Trespass to land occurs when someone enters onto the land of another. They do not have to intend to enter onto the land, they just have to be on the land of another without authorization. A person is not a trespasser if they were invited onto the land (e.g. houseguest) or if they are contractually obligated to be on the land (e.g. an employee at the corporate office). Otherwise, it’s a trespass. A trespass can even occur if a defendant causes someone or something to enter onto the land as well. The usual measure of damages are either nominal damages (one dollar) if there is no actual harm done to the land or actual damages if there is harm done (e.g. if the ground has been demolished by a vehicle on the land).

Did you have any other questions for me today?

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