What to do about repair bills incurred due to a plumbing issue that was not timely reported to the landlord?

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What to do about repair bills incurred due to a plumbing issue that was not timely reported to the landlord?

As a landlord my tenant had a plumbing issue and did not notify me about it until the police were called due to the smell. I then had to not only call a plumber but also had to have the septic tank dumped and get an exterminator in. Under the circumstances, who is legally responsible for the bills? Can the tenant withhold rent because they never informed me of the issue?

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to carefully read the presumed written lease that you have in that such document ordinarily sets forth the obligations owed to the landlord by the tenant and vice versa. Typical leases mandate that the tenant advise the landlord of problems with the rental immediately.

If the lease is silent as to the notice requirements as to the problems with the rental, then if the tenant knew of the problem arising and failed to advise you of such, then the tenant should be partially responsible for the costs if repair. I suggest that you consult a landlord tenant attorney about the matter you have written about to discuss what is your legal recourse under the facts of the problem.


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