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    christine walker's Avatar
    christine walker Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 27, 2006, 03:02 PM
    Locked Out Of Apartment
    The stove in my apartment caught fire and caused damage to the stove and cabinets. I will have to pay for the damage. The landlord took the keys and said I could.nt live there until repairs are made. It.s been two weeks and they haven.t started work yet. It is time to pay rent again in a few days. Can they legally keep me out of the apartment?
    excon's Avatar
    excon Posts: 21,482, Reputation: 2992
    Uber Member

    Dec 27, 2006, 03:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by christine walker
    can they legally keep me out of the apartment?
    Hello christine:

    Legally really isn't the issue right now. If the apartment is un-inhabitable, then it is. They have determined it to be so. It's probably true too, because it's not in their financial interest to make such a declaration. Or, more to the legal point - it has yet to be determined whether it is, or isn't in their interest to declare it un-inhabitable.

    Clearly, if you can't live in it, you're not expected to pay for it. Depending on the state where you live, this is called a rent abatement. How it's handled is different in every state. Some would have you put the rent into escrow. Others would have you pay your rent where you’re living now.

    Ask them, in writing, when the apartment will be habitable (use that word). Inform them that you can't be expected to pay for an apartment that is un-inhabitable. Send the letter, certified, return receipt requested.

    Let us know what they say.

    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692

    Dec 27, 2006, 07:58 PM
    excon is using those big words today, must have gotten that dictionary for Chistmas. And he must like you he was really nice too.

    But he is correct they can stop you from living there because of the damage. They would have to let you in to get some of your belongings, if the building is safe to walk into. ( no structure damage)

    As far as you paying for the damge, did you actually cause the damage, grease fire, cloth on the stove or what. If there was just some electrical problem with the stove you would not be liable.

    And of course that is why we should and I hope you did have renters insurance to help cover the damage

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