If my landlord won’t fix the water heater, what do I do?

UPDATED: Dec 19, 2012

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If my landlord won’t fix the water heater, what do I do?

Asked on December 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Obviously, if you have no hot water, your premises is not "habitable" (this means safe and sanitary). If you have notified your landlord of this and they have taken no action to rectify the situation within a reasonable timeframe, then they are in breach of the implied "warranty of habitability". For such a breach you can - repair the problem and deduct the cost of the repair from your rent, or withhold your rent payments until the situation is remedied, or break your lease.

Also, if you have no hot water and are forced to move out, you can claim something termed "constructive eviction". Based on this legal theory, you may be able to terminate your lease with no penalty or further financial obligation. In fact, you could obtain a refund of your security deposit, as well as have a claim for any costs you incur as a result (i.e. hotel; extra travel time to wok; storing belongings; etc.).

At this point, you need to contact an attorney that specializes in landlord-tenent cases; they can best advise you of your rights.remedies under specific state law.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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