Posted by Mark Smith on August 26, 1999 at 12:22:22:
In Reply to: Re: broken refrigerator posted by Mark Smith on August 25, 1999 at 23:07:59:
If you do have to take your landlord to small claims court or defend against repair/replace and deduct in housing court, you should also claim the cost of any food spoiled by the broken refrigerator, and the incremental cost of buying take out food or eating out. Asking for only the incremental cost of the food -- as opposed to the total cost -- makes you appear very reasonable.
If you choose to buy a new refrigerator, instead of a used one, you would also appear reasonable if you asked for the cost of a used one. But if you are planning to move in the next three years or so, you would probably be better off buying a used refrigerator.
: If the landlord does not do the repairs within a week, rather than repair and deduct, or replace and deduct, I would suggest having a service call to have someone look at the refrigerator. If repair costs are reasonable, then have the repairs done. If the serviceman says, in writing, that repair costs would be excessive, I would suggest buying a used refrigerator of approximately the same size and with the same features.
: If the landlord refuses to pay for the service call and the repairs or replacement, I would sue the landlord in small claims court, which would probably be more friendly and more convenient (in the evening) than housing court. Repair/replace and deduct could lead you to housing court (probably in the daytime), and if the landlord is successful, you could be liable for the landlord's attorneys' fees.
: Also, your lease may prohibit you from replacing the refrigerator and other appliances. If you replace the broken refrigerator with a new refrigerator, the landlord might try to enforce the lease, because he would prefer to furnish the replacement refrigerator and increase the rent by 1/40 of a high-price refrigerator. That becomes a part of the rent, and would be subject to renewal and vacancy increases in the future. The landlord couldn't legitimately raise that argument for a used refrigerato
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