Can my landlord charge me for pipes the leaked underneath my unit and into another?

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Can my landlord charge me for pipes the leaked underneath my unit and into another?

My sink was left running (on accident) for about 2 hours. My landlord, at around 4:00 am) entered my apartment while I was sleeping. She came in because the unit below mine had water entering through a vent (or something) and came to check it out. I woke up (I was not dressed) and she turned off the faucet. The sink was empty, and it was not clogged. Now, I was 2 days from moving out of the complex. She wants me to pay for the damage, but the water leaked from the pipes, not from flooding. There was no damage to my unit. She has stated the pipes leak often in other units

Asked on August 31, 2011 Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to read carefully your written lease with your landlord assuming you have one in that its terms control the obligations you owe to your landlord and vice versa over the rental in the absence of conflicting state law.

If there is no mention in your lease about repairs and maintenance for the rented unit, it is the landlord's responsibility to pay for the repairs of the leaked pipes in the presumed subfloor of your rental. Even if there is language of you being responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the unit in the written lease, custom and practice in the lease of rental properties is that the tenant is not responsible for repairs in the unit's subfloors since tenants ordinarily do not climb into that area of the home for inspection.

Additionally, the pipes in that subfloor leaked due most likely to age. The pipes and their repairs are the landlord's responsibility to repairs at his or her own cost, not yours.


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