Landlord wants to add repair costs (necessary repairs) as additional rent
I am mid-lease (doesn't end until July 2012), landlord's floor had swollen up and the wooden boards needed to be replaced. He is convinced (though he is wrong) that we are responsible somehow for the water damage under the floor (the more likely culprit is his fault ac unit which leaked under the boards). He wants to add the cost of the repairs to additional rent (under the terms of the lease, additional rent is permitted for costs of repairs where the tenant caused the damage). Clearly, we do not agree on the cause of the damage. What is the appropriate thing to do here?
Has he formally submitted any paperwork asking you to pay more? If not, I'd just pay him the rent amount decided in the lease. That's what you're obligated to pay. He can't (legally) just kick you out and he'd have no cause for eviction. You can file a complaint to L&I, I think, if he doesn't fix something he has to as a landlord.
He wrote a letter certified mail requesting the additional rent. The floor has since been fixed.
The landlord needs to supply a demonstrated and legal document attesting to the damage by an independent agency, such as an insurance adjuster. i.e. not the repairman who is in profited from the repair.
Then demonstrate that they placed a claim against their policy which was rejected.
You should have renter's insurance. Any of you can be liable for any shortcoming of the above.
There is also the question of verifing the cost basis for the adjustment.
Look around for some pro bono legal advise. Your employer may have contracted for a token 1-2 hour consultation for matters such as this.
Last edited by Moonraker; 10-24-2011 at 12:54 AM.
Reason: deleted 2nd rely
Thanks. Should I respond to him in letter if he writes me?
I have had lots of luck with FreeAdvice Legal Forum for lots of different legal issues, including landlord/tennant stuff.
Personally, I would not put anything in writing myself unless I talked to a lawyer or at least someone with knowledge of these issues first...
My guess is that he sent a certified letter to scare you into coughing up the money, and he knows he doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.
Maybe give him a call and try to reason it out?
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