Can the property management for my rental agree to a repair without telling me or getting another estimate?

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Can the property management for my rental agree to a repair without telling me or getting another estimate?

I was informed 5 days ago by the property management company for the house that I am renting, that there was low water pressure and no hot water. Today, I received a bill from them for $1,390 saying that the plumber looked at it, found issues and decided that if he didn’t do it now it would be a while before he could get out to do it. So he did it without any kind of acknowledgement or estimate. Am I obligated to pay this? The only thing he

was sent out for was to inspect. I didn’t get any kind of estimate and my property management company all but admitted they had no idea that it was going to be done either.

Asked on September 25, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A tenant does not have to pay for any repairs unless 1) he or she can be proven to have caused the damage (and not by simple "wear and tear"--by carelessness or intentionally); or 2) their lease states they must pay for damage in this situation. So unless 1) or 2) applies, you don't have to pay.
Even if you might have to pay, the law says you only have to pay the "reasonable" cost; you can refuse to pay, let the landlord sue you for the money, and then, in court, he'd have to prove it was reasonable.


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