What are my rights if my landlord flooded her bathroom which is above ours and it caused our ceiling to badly leak?

I have a 13 month old child and I have a history of asthma. Should she have to put us up if the bathroom needs major repair? Can we move out with out 30 day notice? How about my property that was leaked on?

Asked on September 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the landlord causes damage to your personal property, she is obligated to pay for the cost to repair or replace.

If the apartment is not habitable and the landlord cannot resolve/fix the situation within a reasonable time (unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast definition of what would be a reasonable time), the tenant may be entitled to terminate the lease and move out. However, first you have to provide an opportunity to fix the situation.

Whether or not the landlord fixes the situation (as per the above), a tenant is typically entitled to monetary compensation (called "rent abatement") for any period of time that a rental premises is wholly or partially uninhabitable, with the amount of the abatement based on the extent and severity of the issue. Again, there are no hard and fast rules.

From what you write, you have rights and may be entitled to compensation for living with a damaged apartment and for the damage to any of your belongings. You may also be able to terminate your lease. Because, however, there are not easy to apply, hard and fast rules, you are advised to consult with an attorney and let the attorney guide you in enforcing your rights. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should try contact Legal Services.

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