What area tenant’s rights to compensationiftheir landlord fails to make adequate repairs tothe bathroom?

I have put in 4 requests to repair the plumbling in my bathroom; they keep replacing the drywall but not the leaky pipe. What can I do legally to get them to repair the pipe and receive compensation for the many days that I have been unable to use my bathroom?

Asked on July 17, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would need to--and can--bring a legal action against your landlord. You can sue him or her based on both your lease itself (i.e. you are paying money for an apartment with functioning bathroom!) and on what's known as the "implied warranty of habitability" (a requirement imputed to leases that the premises must be inhabitable, which includes having working sanitary/toilet facilities). You could look for either a court order requiring the landlord to make the fix, and/or for compensatory damages--money to compensate you for the dimunition in value of your premises while you don't have a bathroom (i.e. an apartment or home w/out a bathroom is worth less than one that has one!). Speak with an attorney to get a sense for the costs of such an action as well as what you could reasonable expect to recover--as well as for whether you need to put in written requests to you landlord first for the repairs (if you haven't already), to lay the groundwork.


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