Does my apartment owe me compensation for the time I didn’t have a stove?

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Does my apartment owe me compensation for the time I didn’t have a stove?

I’ve been living in an apartment for the passed 2 months while in college. For these months, the apartment has failed to pay repair anything in the apartment, including looking into the matter of my stove not working. Just today, they have gone ahead and repaired things and have started looking into the matter that is my stove. Do they legally owe me compensation for the time that I did not have a stove, seeing as how because of this I’ve had to buy food from restaurants, which is costly. Also, if this is legally acceptable, how would I go about it?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The apartment may well owe you compensation:

1) Not having a working stove could be a violation of what the law calls the implied warranty of habitability--i.e. the apartment may not have been fit for residence without a stove;

2) If you rented an apartment which was supposed to have a stove, then not having a working one coud be a violation of the lease, or represent fraud in the inducement of the lease (you were lied to about the appliances, to get you to rent).

The usual measure of compensation is either the difference in value between the rent you paid and the rent for an apartment lacking a stove, or else the out-of-pocket costs (e.g. takeout) you incured.

To get the money, if the apartment does not offer you something voluntarily, you'd have to sue. You could sue in small claims court where you could represent yourself and the costs are lower.


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