Do landlords need to notify tenants when the water is shutoff for non-emergency repairs?

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Do landlords need to notify tenants when the water is shutoff for non-emergency repairs?

Water is shutoff in a 16 unit apartment building for 1 empty apartment to get upgraded water spigots. There was no notification.

Asked on July 20, 2011 California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Should the tenants be notified, so that they can take some reasonable action--e.g. stay elsewhere; buy bottled water; etc.? Yes.

However, it's not clear what could be done about it, if anything. Unless the water shut-off somehow caused one tenant or another (including the tenants' families) some significant loss or injury, there is nothing to sue for--the legal system provides awards, or damages, which compensate for actual loss, so no loss, no award. Thus, if maybe the shutoff led to a fire, somehow (the tenant was using candles, which fell and which the tenant could not put out due to a lack of water) or a medical problem (someone who has a condition requiring them to drink alot of water couldn't), etc., there is no effective action the tenants could take.


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