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  1. #1
    AdamWe is offline Member
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    Broken Refrigerator

    What is the name of your state? PA

    I apoligize in advance if this issue has been covered already but I don't have the time to search the postings for a relevant topic. My refrigerator has been not working for 2 months. I have been getting by with using the freezer part for the past few months but then last week there was a power outage and now the whole thing went kaput.

    1 month ago I told my landlord the refrigerator wasn't working and that someone should come and look at it. This month I slipped a hand written note in with my rent check. I reviewed my lease to see if there is a refrigerator covered under appliances and I wasn't able to find a clause specifying a refrigerator. There was a refrigerator when I moved into the apartment so I am assuming either that suppling refrigeration is the standard of modern living or that my landlord was suppling a refrigerator out of the goodness of his heart. I know the next step is to get a formal written complaint but I was just wondering if I have a leg to stand on if the refrigerator isn't covered in the lease.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Q: I was just wondering if I have a leg to stand on if the refrigerator isn't covered in the lease.

    A: I doubt it.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    AdamWe is offline Member
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    On the bright side, it's 20 degrees in Pittsburgh so the fire escape is a perfect replacement for my broken freezer.
  4. #4
    reenzz is offline Member
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    Maybe you can ask your landlord if you can have the fridge fixed yourself (at a reasonable cost) and deduct the amount from the rent due next month.
  5. #5
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    You have looked in your lease , but have you looked up your State's LL/Tenant Laws ?

    Some State's such as mine State , if the LL supplies appliances , He/She must continue to supply them in good working order .

    Although you know as a tenant with a reluctant LL , you MUST put your foot down and be aggressively assertive .

    It worked for me . We have a brand new stove/oven .
  6. #6
    AdamWe is offline Member
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    Thanks for the advice. It's much better than "I doubt it". I'll review my LL/Tenant Law in PA. So by aggressive assertion do you mean threatening to withhold future rent or just call each day with a reminder or demand?
  7. #7
    treese is offline Senior Member
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    Blonde Lebinese is right. Normally, the LL is responsible to maintain and repair all appliances and fixtures that are supplied with the rental.

    In my state, if I rent an apartment with a refrigerator and it breaks down, I am responsible to repair or replace it. It does not have to be specifically stated in the lease.

    [url]http://www.tenant.net/Other_Areas/Penn/harris/pa-part2.html[/url]

    Follow your State's laws and put your request/demand in writing. Do not use phone calls, as you will have no proof of your request/demand.
  8. #8
    AdamWe is offline Member
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    Thanks alot for the link. I have been having trouble finding a PA Landlord Tenant law website that didn't bore me to death or took forever to get to the point. Thanks all for your help.
  9. #9
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamWe View Post
    Thanks for the advice. It's much better than "I doubt it". I'll review my LL/Tenant Law in PA. So by aggressive assertion do you mean threatening to withhold future rent or just call each day with a reminder or demand?
    By aggressive assertive I mean being stern and demanding , not threatening .

    Do as Tresse Stated , put it in writing ( RRR Certified mail is best ) , quote the State's Laws . If the LL tells you it's not in the Lease , tell them it's a State Law , and you expect it to be followed .

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    What are a landlordís duties?In general, the landlord is required to maintain facilities and services vital to the life, health, and safety of the tenant. This principle has been applied in such a manner as to require the landlord to:1. Comply with building and housing codes.2. Keep premises in fit, sanitary, safe, and habitable condition.3. Keep the common areas in a safe condition.4. Keep all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heat, ventilating, air conditioning, and other appliances supplied by landlord in good and safe working order.5. Notify the tenant in writing of any breaches of the tenantís obligations under the act, except in emergency situations.6. These duties cannot be waived be any agreement between the landlord and tenant.
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    Page 2
    What should the tenant do if the landlord breaches one of the duties listed above?1. Using registered mail, return receipt requested, notify the landlord of the defect you want him tocorrect. Make sure you keep a copy of your letter and the receipt verifying the mailing.2. Give the landlord a reasonable opportunity to correct the defect.3. If the landlord fails to correct the defect, contact the Carlisle Barracks Legal Assistance Office.What are my remedies if my landlord fails to correct the defects?Note: We recommend that you consult with either the Legal Assistance Office or a Pennsylvania attorney before attempting to obtain any of the following remedies:1. If the breach of the landlordís obligation is of such magnitude that the apartment is uninhabitable, you may cancel the lease and not pay any further rent.2. The tenant may make repairs and deduct the cost of repairs from his rent. However, you should be aware of the following:a. Repairs must be reasonably priced and cannot exceed one monthís rent.b. Two written estimates should be obtained prior to initiating repairs.c. The repairs must be necessary to make the premises habitable.3. Sue the landlord for damages under one or more of the following causes of action:a. Cost of repairs for breach of implied warranty of habitability.
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    Page 3
    b. Retroactive rent abatement or refund of rent for percentage reduction of use.c. Consequential damages resulting from Landlordís failure to repair (such as damaged personal property, excess utility bills, etc.)d. Intentional infliction of emotional distress.e. Violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Law.4. Withhold rent. (Escrow is not required but is recommended)5. Specific Performance Ė ask the court to order the repairs.What should I do if the landlord responds to my demand for repairs by raising my rent or evicting me?By going into court you could defend against the action be arguing that the rent increase and eviction constitute retaliatory landlord conduct.What might a landlordís defenses to retaliatory conduct be?1. The tenant breached a material covenant of the lease.2. The tenancy was for a definite period of time with no option to renew.3. Compliance with building or housing codes, or major alterations require displacement of the tenant.4. Good faith notice to quit was given before any of the tenantís protected activities occurred.5. Landlord wishes to use the dwelling for himself at the expiration of the lease.What are a tenantís duties?1. Comply with building and housing codes.
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    Page 4
    2. Maintain premises in a clean and safe condition.3. Prevent and portion of the premises from being damaged or destroyed, unless due to:a. Ordinary wear and tear.b. Act of landlord or his agent.c. Defective products or repairs authorized by landlord.d. Acts of third parties who are not invitees of the tenant.e. Natural forces.4. Notify the landlord in writing of any needed repairs, unless there is an emergency.5. THE TENANT MAY NOT UNILATERALLY WITHHOLD RENT PRIOR TO A JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF THE RIGHT TO DO SO.What are grounds for eviction?1.The lease term has ended.2.Breach of a condition of the lease by the tenant.3.Failure to pay rent.What is the maximum amount a landlord can demand as a security deposit during the first year of a lease?1.First Year of a Leasea. No landlord may require in excess of two months rent as a security deposit during the first year of the a lease.2.Second or Subsequent Yearsa. During the second or subsequent years of the lease, or during the renewal of the original lease, a landlord may not require a security deposit in excess of one monthís rent.
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    Page 5
    Is the landlord entitled to keep any interest he obtains while holding the security deposit?During the first two years of the lease the landlord may keep all of the interest earned from the security deposit.When must the landlord return the security deposit?The landlord must return the balance of the security deposit within 30 days after termination of the lease.What are my remedies if the landlord fails to return the security deposit within 30 days?You may receive double the amount wrongfully withheld by the landlord.What may the landlord use the security deposit for?1.Non-payment of rent.2.Damage to premises.3.Non-fulfillment of lease.4.Unpaid bills which become a lien against the premises due to tenantís occupancy.Does the landlord have to notify me if he is going to use my security deposit?Within 30 days of the termination of the lease every landlord is required to provide a tenant with a list of any damages to the leased premises for which the landlord claims the tenant liable. 68 P.S. ß 250.512a. The landlord must deliver the list along with payment of any difference between the amount of security deposit funds and the amount of damages. A landlord who fails to provide a written list within the required 30 days forfeits all his rights to withhold any portion of the security deposit funds.What if I object to the claims for damages?
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    Page 6
    IF YOU OBJECT TO THE CLAIM FOR DAMAGES, YOU HAVE TO FILE A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE LANDLORD. (SEE DISTRICT JUSTICE COURT PAMPHLET)
    Last edited by BL; 12-06-2006 at 03:07 PM.

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