Is a landlord resposnible for a tenant’s incurred expenses if water is shut off for repairs?

UPDATED: Jul 29, 2011

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Is a landlord resposnible for a tenant’s incurred expenses if water is shut off for repairs?

Recently the water main broke and the crawl space and downstairs of the house was flooded. The plumbing company came out and stated that the crawl space and downstairs needed to be drained and dried, the gas lines identified, and the water main replaced. The estimated time of repair is about 5 days. I am wondering, if I pay rent and the reason of my expenses is not of my doing and out of my norm because of this problem, is it the landlord’s responsibility to reimburse me for hotel, food, and gas expenses?

Asked on July 29, 2011 Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Read your written lease between you and the landlord. Its terms and conditions control the obligations that you each owe the other. If the lease has provisions for a debit on your rent when some systems are down then the lease controls.

If you have to leave the rented unit due to safety reasons and need for repairs due to the severity of the flooding due to the breakage of the main water line, then the landlord should reimburse you for your expenses away from the rental including motel and food.

You should speak with your landlord as to what he or she wants to do about the situation and accomodating you.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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