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    saudet's Avatar
    saudet Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 23, 2008, 12:13 PM
    Single Family Home/Rent Withholding
    I recently went without heat/hot water for 3 days. I called my landlord and she had someone come in to repair the boiler. It took 3 days so I went out an purchased electric heaters (4). I also had to take off 2 days because I did not have hot water to get a shower until the 3 day. That is when she arranged for a hotel.

    When I told her I was going to deduct the heaters from the rent and for the 2 days I stayed home from work, she went bilistic. She threatened eviction if I did not pay the rent but instead would reimburse me for only half the electric heaters because I did not get her permission to buy the heaters. So bizarre. I live in NY state and I wanted to know if she can evict for deducting the amount I am out from my rent.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
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    #2

    Feb 23, 2008, 12:16 PM
    I don't know if she can evict you for wanting to deduct for the heaters but she is right you didn't get her permission for the heaters so she is being generous for the hotel and half the heaters. Go for her offer and don't push it.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
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    #3

    Feb 23, 2008, 12:18 PM
    She can try. That doesn't mean that she'll be successful. I would think that you'd be entitled to deduct 3 days prorated rent for the time you were without heat or hot water. I'm not sure about the heaters or the 2 days lost wages. One can always argue that you could have gone elsewhere and taken a shower if that was in fact your only rationale for missing the 2 days work.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
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    #4

    Feb 23, 2008, 12:22 PM
    Yeah one can argue that she could have boiled some water and taken a sponge bath or something. So legal wise I don't think she can use a lack of shower as an excuse for missing work. Some people only bath a couple times a week or less--not that that is good but you'd be surprised.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #5

    Feb 23, 2008, 12:46 PM
    Well she did send a repair person, if they could not get parts or fix it, or come. I would go that you could prorate the 3 days, then add the cost of the hotel cost.

    But in the end if you don't accept her agreement, she can file an eviction, you will go to court (and miss another day from work which you can't get paid back for) ** also there was no reson you could not heat up some water and wash off, so missing work most likely willnot be accepted by the court) * you did not get permission from them to buy heaters.
    Also I would advice everyone to have a back up heat system, what if the electric went off for 3 days, no one could get you heat.

    As you see even experts here don't agree, so it may well be what the judge thinks.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
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    #6

    Feb 23, 2008, 12:49 PM
    The only think I don't see agreed about basically is the hotel cost. Her post makes it sound like the landlord DID take care of the hotel in which case she wouldn't have anything to claim on that. And we all agree with the water not being an excuse to miss work.
    I still say what the landlord offered was more than enough legally.
    saudet's Avatar
    saudet Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Feb 23, 2008, 02:01 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by N0help4u
    I don't know if she can evict you for wanting to deduct for the heaters but she is right you didn't get her permission for the heaters so she is being generous for the hotel and half the heaters. Go for her offer and don't push it.
    It is my understanding that by law a landlord MUST provide heat/hot water within 24 hours or tenant can take the necessary action to remedy the situation. I thought I was doing her a favor by keeping the place warm so pipes would not freeze and prevent the added cost of a hotel. I will definitely not do that favor again.

    Since living here, the septic tank has overflowed, pipes have frozen, odors come from the toilet, so the fact that she would even suggest eviction was a shocker.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #8

    Feb 23, 2008, 02:07 PM
    Houses have toliets that back up, pipes freeze and septic tanks need pumping every so many years.

    Landlords hire repair people, and sometimes it gets fixed in one day, and sometimes repair people take 3 days just to show up.
    Did you call her on the first day and ask for other heat to be provided?
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
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    #9

    Feb 23, 2008, 02:09 PM
    You may have been doing her a favor but your buying the heaters without her approval you can't just go and deduct them.
    If the place is that bad you may want to let her evict you to get out of the lease.
    saudet's Avatar
    saudet Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Feb 23, 2008, 02:09 PM
    She never returns my calls. She just gets a repair person in and then emails me.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,823, Reputation: 2035
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    #11

    Feb 23, 2008, 02:13 PM
    Ethically you are right but the law often goes by guidelines that may not take your side.
    You might have had more of a case if you hadn't "done her the favor" of buying the heaters
    And had to tell the Judge how cold the place was and you froze...

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