Can a landord close off laundry facilities in order to save money?

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Can a landord close off laundry facilities in order to save money?

Our landlord came to our appartment and closed the washer/dryer water valves. He said that we could no longer use them because he wants to pay less on the water bill. Can he do that to us?

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, the landlord can't do this.

1) It's a violation of the lease; you leased a premises that had certain features, including washer/dryer. If the landlord then deprives you of feautures that the apartment had when you rented it--and which was part of the bargin, or reason why you rented it--he is violating the lease.

2) It might also be violation of what's known as the "implied warranty of habitability," which is that rented premises must be fit for habitation. Depending on the exact circumstances, shutting of some of the water valves might violate this.

You could sue your landlord to force him to turn the  water back on and/or for monetary damages (the cost of going to laundromats, for example). You should speak with an attorney, and good luck.


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