If my apartment is uninhabitable due to no fault of my own, is my landlord responsible to find me a place to stay that is of equal size and price?

We had a sewage leak that backed up into our apartment causing human waste to go all over our floors. Now the walls and floors need to be replaced. The landlord has offered a place to stay but it is a 1 bedroom for the same price as our 2 bedroom. Is this legal?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the apartment that youwere renting is no longer habitable due to health and safety issues through no fault of your own and there is an additional term of time left upon it, the landlord would be responsible to you for any excess in rent that you have to pay for another unit during the balance of time you cannot live in the unit you are under contract for.

It is nice that the landlord has offered you a one (1) bedroom for the same monthly rent as the two (2) bedroom that cannot be occupied. Unfortunately he or she wants the same rent as for the two (2) bedroom.

This is legal for him or her to offer, but it is not realistic for you to pay the same monthly rent for a smaller unit taking into consideration you have to move your belongings as well. Perhaps a monthly rental of seventy-five percent (75%) of what your were paying for the two (2) bedroom is in order?

Good luck.

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