If the water was shut off ata rentaldue to a repair, is the landlord required to pay hotel fees for the tenant or provide alternate housing?

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If the water was shut off ata rentaldue to a repair, is the landlord required to pay hotel fees for the tenant or provide alternate housing?

Landlord states he was not obligated to pay fees for hotel when water was shut off for 3 days due to a water heater issue.

Asked on May 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord probably does need to pay the *reasonable* cost (i.e. a "Motel 8," not the Ritz-Carlton) of tenants staying elsewhere when the water is shut off due to the landlord's action for 3 days. All leases have what's called an "implied warranty of habitability"; this means the premises must be inhabitable for their purpose (residence) and this includes water. If the premises is not inhabitable, then the tenant may have a cause of action and grounds to recover damages (compensation). However, whether as a practical matter it is worthwhile to sue the landlord--since that what you'd have to do to recover the money--over this is a different story. You may wish to speak to a landlord-tenant attorney to discuss the value, worth, strength, and cost of your potential case. Good luck.


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