Is an landlord libel for loss of personal property due to a leak from a radiator?

A radiator in my apartment, which has been turned off for over 10 years, had a leak. It went unnoticed for a few days but when I discovered it, the water had soaked into the carpet and under a lot of books that were on the carpet, as well as under some book shelves. This resulted in mold damage to the books which had to be tossed out. There is some mold on the bottom of the shelves put I don’t know yet if I will have to toss them as well. There is a company that will be coming in to repair the floorboards under the carpet and I may have to lose some of the carpet as well. I do not have renters insurance.

Asked on December 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Good question. In all likelihood your landlord will not be responsible for the damages that you have incurred as a result of the leak from the radiator that went unnoticed for a while causing damages to a lot of your books.

The reason for this opinion is that your landlord had no notice of the problem and had no reason to believe that there could be a problem with the radiator from what you have written.

You might ask the landlord to see if his insurance might cover damage to the items that you had.


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