Can landlord charge me for damages done from an overflowing toilet?

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Can landlord charge me for damages done from an overflowing toilet?

I flushed the toilet in my rental before leaving my house to take my fiance, who was in labor, to the hospital. I got a call from landlord saying that my apartment had flooded. The landlord got someone to come and pull the carpet out of the house. Now says that she isn’t putting carpet in to the rentaluntil I pay for the carpet that had to get pulled out. I now have a newborn but no carpet. What are my legal rights as a tenant?

Asked on September 17, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Ok, why did the toilet overflow?  Was it an ongoing problem or did you flush something down there to stop it up?  Had you ever complained about the toilet not working before?  A tenant has a right to an apartment that is habitable" meaning that the appliances and plumbing work, the heat works, it is free of bugs, etc.  If you did nothing to cause the toilet to overflow then it is the landlord's problem.  And the damage is her problem as well. Here is what I would suggest.  Go down to the courthouse that deals with landlord tenant issues and ask the clerk to start whatever proceeding you need to under "habitability" rules and to allow you to pay our rent in to court until the matter is resolves.  She is holding the carpet hostage.  You can so the same with the rent but legally dispute the matter. Good luck with the baby.


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