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Old 12-03-2013, 02:00 PM
16 posts, read 19,943 times
Reputation: 14


Hello all. Thanks for reading!

I live in an apartment complex in the Fenway area with my roommate. We had a very old oven/stove. Never worked perfectly, but worked enough to use. Through no fault of our own (to which building management agreed), the stove caught on fire and went up in flames. Thankfully my roommate was home and was able to put out the fire with an extinguisher. The building fire alarm went off, people had to be evacuated, my roommate called 911 and firefighters even came. The stove/oven was clearly not up to code and it was near gas. If my roommate wasn't so quick thinking, this could have been a major catastrophe.

Now, however...we are left without an oven/stove (going on three days now, were told it would be ready yesterday). They gave us two little burners on our counter top, which don't even work and are unusable. Most of our food had to be thrown away, smoot is still covering our floor and ruined additional bathroom appliances. What steps should I take? Unfortunately I already sent my rent check over the weekend (my roommate did not). I feel like I would rather hold off payment until the matter is resolved (if at all anytime soon). Do I put a stop on the check until this is resolved? What should I do?
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:57 PM
1,769 posts, read 2,391,178 times
Reputation: 1555
Talk to your landlord first and give him/her chance to do it right (they should clean your place ASAP and provide you with a new stove), if not possible, talk to lawyer (there are free ones that can help with advice and how to proceed) and perhaps start looking for a new place.

The Boston Rental Housing Center was created by Mayor Thomas M. Menino in 1995 to provide advice, information, and assistance to Boston landlords and tenants who have problems or questions about rental housing issues.

The Boston Rental Housing Center:

  • Mediates housing-related disputes, free of charge. The BRHC has helped to resolve hundreds of landlord-tenant disputes in a non-threatening and non-partisan atmosphere.
Contact - City of Boston

Boston Rental Housing Center | City of Boston
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:18 PM
Location: Massachusetts
5,945 posts, read 6,760,173 times
Reputation: 4278
First of all, kudos to you and your roommate for your quick and smart thinking.

What about the stove wasn't up to code? Was this information given to you by the fire department? You could talk to the City of Boston building department if this is the situation.

It may take a bit longer to get the place cleaned up and a new stove delivered. Your landlord's property insurance and/or your renter's insurance should cover any loss of your property including steps to clean up linens and clothing and in many cases will cover temporary stay in a hotel or short term rental, loss of food and cost of having to eat restaurant food due to not having a stove. Your landlord should reimburse you for this regardless.

Not sure what you mean about ruined bathroom appliances. If there was destruction to the actual structure of the building, you may not be in a habitable place for months to come.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:20 AM
Location: Behind You!
1,949 posts, read 3,330,745 times
Reputation: 2663
You can only withhold rent in certain situations, I doubt a broken stove is one of them. Do you not have renters insurance? Would have paid for all your losses!
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