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IS TENANT RESPONSIBLE FOR FROZEN PIPES


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#1 TIRED_OF_GREEDY_LANDLORDS

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 12:11 PM

SON RENTED HOUSE IN RAYTOWN, MISSOURI.  LEASE ENDED JAN 1ST. HE GAVE LANDLORD MONTH NOTICE THAT HE WOULD NOT BE RENEWING LEASE.  HE RAN INTO $ PROBLEMS AND WATER WAS TURNED OFF MID DECEMBER,  GAS HEAT TURNED OFF ABOUT 3 DAYS LATER.  HE NOTIFIED LANDLORD THAT WATER AND HEAT HAD BEEN TURNED OFF.  HE VACATED HOUSE DECEMBER 31ST.  LANDLORD DID INSPECTION FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY AND TOLD SON THAT HOUSE WAS FINE, AND THAT THE SECURITY DEPOSIT WOULD BE APPLIED TO LAST MONTH RENT.  LANDLORD NOTIFIED SON ON jANUARY 23RD THAT PIPES WERE FROZEN, AND THAT SON OWED $3000.00 FOR PIPE REPAIRS.(DONE BY LANDLORDS BUDDY)  HE TOLD SON THAT IF SON PAID $795.00 HE WOULD CONSIDER IT PAID. OTHERWISE HE WOULD TAKE SON TO COURT, AND SON WOULD HAVE TO PAY $3000.00, AND LANDLORDS LAWYER, AND ANY COURT COSTS.  IS SON RESPONSIBLE FOR PIPES?  

#2 Fallen

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:24 AM

I'm not sure where you see things written in all caps, but please don't use all caps in future.

Your son was obligated to safeguard the property by keeping the heat going, etc.  If he knew the place would be without heat during his tenancy, he should have ensured that the pipes were bled.  Even if he told the landlord he was leaving mid-December, unless he got something acknowledging that in writing or can prove it, he's in trouble.

You can count on a landlord not settling for a fraction of damages owed if indeed he had paid someone $3,000 to fix (and a judge would find a bill from a friend suspect).  If I were your son, I'd document the $795 offer in a letter to the landlord summarizing the conversation about it. 

You don't provide any details to indicate why you think your son isn't responsible for damage due to the heat being turned off during his tenancy's term.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)





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