How many days does a landlord have to repair or respond to or call of broken hot water heater?

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How many days does a landlord have to repair or respond to or call of broken hot water heater?

Asked on January 9, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Florida doesn't set a specific time frame for how long a landlord has to respond to a phone call to repair a water heater.  However, there are time-lines associated with a written request to repair.  A tenant can send a detailed letter requesting repair of the water heater at least seven days before the rent is due.  If the Landlord does not repair in that time frame, the tenant may have the water heater repaired by a third party and then deduct the expense for the repairs from the next rent check. 

Before you do this-- you may be able to get someone to help you.  Florida does have agencies responsible for code enforcement, sometimes called Property Safety Division.  Contact the city and see what their complaint procedures are.  Often, landlords will respond more quickly to their requests to avoid a fine.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless the presumed written lease agreement that you have with the landlord sets forth a time period for response to a broken item in the rental, under the laws of all states in this country the time period for a landlord to repair or respond to a call of a broken water heater is a reasonable "time period" under the circumstances.

In any event, most likely the passage of more than three (3) days or so from notice would not be deemed a reasonable time period.


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