Our landlord won’t reimburse up for excessive electric bills due to a faulty heater.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Our landlord won’t reimburse up for excessive electric bills due to a faulty heater.

For the first three months of our tenancy, the heating bills were 400.00. After
three months the heating system was repaired and our top bill for the next nine
months was 180.00. The landlord refuses to deduct the excess from our rent. Do
we have any recourse?

Asked on December 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The only way to get the money back if the landlord will not voluntarily repay you would be to sue him for the money. If you can show that the heating system was defective (e.g. with documentation of the repairs or testimony from the repairman) and that was the reason you had excessive bills, you have a reasonable chance to recover the money: landlords have an obligation to provide "habitable" rental units, and a defective heater would violate that obligation. Such violation could result in landlord liability for the costs you therefore incurred.

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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