Isn’t my landlord obligated to proved a sanitary living environment?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Isn’t my landlord obligated to proved a sanitary living environment?

A neighbor reported backed up pluming in their apartment and when the plumbers fixed the clog it resulted in my bathroom toilet overflowing. It wasn’t at any fault of mine. The rental company says it’s not their obligation to clean up my bathroom. Are they not obligated to proved a sanitary living environment?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer is both yes and no.

Yes, in the sense that the implied warranty of habitability--which the law adds to all leases, even if it's not written in so many words--requires that the rental premises be fit for their intended purpose, which in this case is residence. Major or significant sanitary conditions violate the warranty; therefore, the landlord is required to clean up major problems.

However, "no" in that sense that more minor or transitory problems, like a one time back up or overflow of a toilet, would not violate the warranty and therefore not require landlord action.

That said, if it was a plumber hired by the landlord or managing company (or, indeed, one of their own staff), then they should have had to clean the mess that they themselves created; when someone damages another's property or creates some other problem or expense for that person, they can be liable for the cost to remediate it.

If the plumber was hired by the neighbor, then it may be the neighbor (or the plumber him/herself) who could be liable.

Of course, no matter who may theoretically be liable, if they will not pay willingly, you'd have to sue to recover compensation, which is not likely to be economically worthwhile.

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption