+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    nuna Guest

    Question Rental contract "liability clause"

    Alameda, CA

    I rented an apartment in a complex for ~2yrs. During my tenancy the plumbing for the adjacent laundry room broke and leaked into my apartment ruining some of my clothes and books. This happened twice.

    There is a quote in my rental agreement saying that the landlord is not responsible for any damage to personal property (citing water pipes specifically). I was told by the small claims court advisor in my county that this clause is illegal but did not have references for me.

    Is such a clause really illegal and if so where can I find the specific law that says so?
    How late after the incident can I sue the landlord?
  2. #2
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Catatonic State
    Posts
    81,917

    Re: Rental contract "liability clause"

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by nuna
    [B]Alameda, CA

    I rented an apartment in a complex for ~2yrs. During my tenancy the plumbing for the adjacent laundry room broke and leaked into my apartment ruining some of my clothes and books. This happened twice.

    There is a quote in my rental agreement saying that the landlord is not responsible for any damage to personal property (citing water pipes specifically). I was told by the small claims court advisor in my county that this clause is illegal but did not have references for me.

    Is such a clause really illegal and if so where can I find the specific law that says so?
    How late after the incident can I sue the landlord?

    **A: why should L be responsible when you were supposed to have tenant insurance to cover your personal belongings.
  3. #3
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    38,165

    Re: Rental contract "liability clause"

    Originally posted by nuna
    Alameda, CA

    I rented an apartment in a complex for ~2yrs. During my tenancy the plumbing for the adjacent laundry room broke and leaked into my apartment ruining some of my clothes and books. This happened twice.

    There is a quote in my rental agreement saying that the landlord is not responsible for any damage to personal property (citing water pipes specifically). I was told by the small claims court advisor in my county that this clause is illegal but did not have references for me.

    Is such a clause really illegal and if so where can I find the specific law that says so?
    How late after the incident can I sue the landlord?

    =======================================

    My response:

    Many landlords attempt to limit their liability to tenants and guests injured on the premises, requiring tenants to obtain their own insurance to cover personal injury or property damage. However, case law has drawn rather expansive boundaries around a landlord's potential premises liability exposure (including liability for injuries caused by other tenants, by defects in the premises and, in certain circumstances, by third party criminal acts). Therefore, while "boilerplate" exculpatory language is commonly incorporated into rental agreements, it might not insulate the landlord from all injury and damage liability.

    Residential landlords cannot avoid liability for injuries from negligent maintenance of the property or negligent failure to repair defects by exculpatory clauses in a lease or rental agreement. Such disclaimers are void and unenforceable as against public policy. [Ca Civil 1953(a)(5) - - tenant's waiver of right to have landlord "exercise a duty of care to prevent personal injury or personal property damage where that duty is imposed by law" is void; Henrioulle v. Marin Ventures, Inc. (1978) 20 Cal.3d 512, 517, 143 Cal.Rptr. 247, 250-251]

    Your Statute of Limitation concerning property damages is 3 years from the date that the damages were caused.

    IAAL
  4. #4
    nuna Guest

    Smile thank you...

    That answers my questions, thanks I.A.A.L.
  5. #5
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    38,165

    Re: thank you...

    Originally posted by nuna
    That answers my questions, thanks I.A.A.L.

    My response:

    You're welcome.

    IAAL
  6. #6
    Ladynred is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Nashville,TN
    Posts
    15,711
    Question, professor IAAL Not to hijack the thread, but my question is similar (water damage).

    to your statements :

    However, case law has drawn rather expansive boundaries around a landlord's potential premises liability exposure (including liability for injuries caused by other tenants, by defects in the premises and, in certain circumstances, by third party criminal acts). Therefore, while "boilerplate" exculpatory language is commonly incorporated into rental agreements, it might not insulate the landlord from all injury and damage liability.
    Would I find it in my state (TN) statutes as to how much, if any, liability a LL would actually be liable for and how much *I* may be liable for ?

    My lease at my now-former apt, obviously had some of this boilerplate language regarding liability. I did not have renter's insurance (I know, my bad but I couldn't afford it at first and forgot about it later) when the pipes in my apt froze the first time and ended up with broken pipes and a literal flood of my downstairs. It was Christmas time, I was in NY for my niece's wedding, came home to the flooded downstairs, a huge hole in the wall of the downstairs bathroom and gushing pipes.

    The women in the office told me it was MY FAULT the pipes broke and they could have charged me for it (they didn't). It took them 3 weeks to make repairs in the bathroom - fixing the wall and ceiling (and they did a horrendous job at that !). Week 3, I called them to find out how the repairs were going and they told me my apt was flooded AGAIN ! Again, I had been out of town and had no idea. This time the pipes burst upstairs under the sink and the water ran between the floor and ceiling of the room downstairs and again flooded the downstairs. Again, they tell me its my fault the pipes burst, that I was responsible for leaving the faucets dripping. Well.. I'd been out of town, they KNEW that and the weather when I left was spring-like !!

    So, anyway, they had not charged me for the repairs. However, now that I'm outta there, I'm suspicious that they may try to charge me for total replacement of the downstairs carpet (which was in need of that when I moved in !) due to damage from these 2 floods !

    How much liablity do I REALLY have when it comes to the infrastructure of THEIR buildings ? These apts are 20+ years old and the insulation is grossly inadequate (the plumber even said so!). To say its MY fault because I didn't leave the water dripping doesn't sit right.

    I sucked up the losses and damage to my personal property since, by my own fault I had no insurance. I don't know if they'll really try this or not, I haven't heard from them yet since I moved out - they've got until the 17th to do so in writing per the laws. I'm just expecting the worst from these women. They were constantly in my apt snooping for 3 years, violating my privacy as far as I'm concerned, so half expect them to pull something.

    Sorry..longer than I intended.

Similar Threads

  1. Help with "non-refundable" clause in contract
    By SloopJimC in forum Consumer Contracts, Guarantees and Warranties
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-08-2010, 12:07 PM
  2. Slimy contract with "no dispute" clause? Legal? (leasetrader.com)
    By jdq in forum Online Purchases and Sales
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11-29-2007, 06:35 PM
  3. can I put a "no drugs" clause in rental agreement?
    By MauriS69 in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-23-2007, 05:38 AM
  4. Contract Clause "Binding Effect"
    By zdomain in forum Consumer Contracts, Guarantees and Warranties
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-29-2001, 11:19 AM
  5. need "out clause" language for contract
    By bcouch in forum Starting and Operating a Business
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-06-2000, 08:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.