Posted by TenantNet on December 24, 1996 at 17:52:05:
In Reply to: Water Damage - wants us to pay for it ! posted by Alan McClendon on December 24, 1996 at 06:39:50:
: They have sent us a bill for $600 every six mths or so for the past three years, asking for payment. We told them we did not do anything, we were not here when it happened, and
: we don't see why we should be liable. Note: We have had at least four other water problems, e.g., toilet seal leak (they had to replace bathroom tile), plumbing backup in a washroom drain pipe, long term sink seal leak (had to replace some cabinet work),
: and hot water heater slow leak (which we didn't notice till the carpet was saturated near it.)
: I know they are trying to pass the buck, but what can I do ? I have told them I didn't feel liable, and they said
: "Well, you MUST have left the water running because we couldn't find the leak source". Well, I am no
: plumber and I certainly don't have a clue either. But, I pay a lot to rent this apt., I thought the management had to take care of
: the problems like this.
You don't say where you are located and all states differ, but we can give
you our general impression. Don't pay the bill, period. [and when you leave,
you might wish to anticipate they will try to deduct it from your security
deposit, so what some tenants do is not pay the last month's rent -- which
puts the shoe on the other foot. This may be against the provisions of the
lease and may allow the owner to come after you, but you would be in a position
of strength against any of their claims].
As for the bill, do they list specific damages to the unit or other tenants'
possessions? If the latter, check with those tenants -- and I would think
the tenants themselves would have to make the claim. Can they prove you caused
the leak? Apparently you have an alibi in that you weren't home. For them
to say "you must have caused it as we cannot find the source" is wholly
insufficient. Aside from specific damages (which usually are not a rounded
number), the cost of repairmen is in all likelihood not your responsibility.
That's what you pay rent for.
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