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From the Forum – What are landlords responsibilities when a broken pipe makes bathroom unusable?

by Prince Of Petworth January 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm 51 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Madame Meow

What are landlords responsibilities when a broken pipe makes bathroom unusable?

“I live in a four story brownstone with an individual apartment on each floor. A pipe on the first floor burst and they had to shut down the water and assess the issue. A plumber came by this morning, but was unable to resolve the issue. Currently there is no water to the bathrooms, meaning no functioning shower or flushable toilet.

I understand from conversations with the plumber that this has been a big issue recently because of the weather, so there are a lot of busted pipes and people without water. The plumber indicated that because of this, there is a huge backlog of work. So that they wouldn’t be able to address the issue (which they think requires taking out a wall and putting in new pipes on the first floor) until next week.

What are the landlord’s responsibilities in this situation where the bathroom is unusable for a prolonged period of time? Assuming this isn’t fixed in the next day or two, can I deduct anything from rent for loss of habitability or ask that he cover a hotel? It’s unclear if this was something beyond his control, or if the pipes were damaged because of neglect (he’s been lax to make repairs in the past).

Thanks for any suggestions.”

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