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Old 07-01-2011, 10:16 AM
 
65 posts, read 269,890 times
Reputation: 32

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I live in NJ.
Our upstairs neighbor's toilet flooded and it started leaking through our living room's ceiling. The water started leaking through the light bulb fixtures, smoke detector etc. It happened yesterday night. I tried to reach the landlord but in vain.
This morning when I saw it, I saw 25 sq ft of damage in the ceiling - drywall peeling back and cracking, water stain, etc and there was dirty water on the floor.
The landlord just came over this morning. He just took some pictures of it (may be for his insurance). He said he will call someone to clean the area but, no one has cleaned it. Since it is toilet water, the living area is not safe health-wise. So, it violates the health code. Also, the ceiling needs to be fixed.
What are my rights now? Should I just withhold the rent until the landlord fixes the damage?
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:34 AM
 
2,222 posts, read 9,469,211 times
Reputation: 3270
You said he came over this morning. Give him a chance to get it cleaned up. This may need more work than you realize. That ceiling may need to be replaced if it is contaminated with waste. And the apartment above you may need new flooring. He will probably also need an electrician, plumber, dry wall guy, painter, etc. This takes awhile to put together. But he should keep in touch with you. Does he have an empty apartment you could occupy while the work is being done?

Sorry, what a yucky mess. Don't discuss withholding the rent. He hasn't done anything wrong yet.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:41 AM
 
65 posts, read 269,890 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth56 View Post
You said he came over this morning. Give him a chance to get it cleaned up. This may need more work than you realize. That ceiling may need to be replaced if it is contaminated with waste. And the apartment above you may need new flooring. He will probably also need an electrician, plumber, dry wall guy, painter, etc. This takes awhile to put together. But he should keep in touch with you. Does he have an empty apartment you could occupy while the work is being done?

Sorry, what a yucky mess. Don't discuss withholding the rent. He hasn't done anything wrong yet.
Nope, there isn't any empty apartment. That sucks!
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,471 posts, read 17,264,227 times
Reputation: 2625
The LL is aware of the problem and it has been less than 24 hours. Give the guy a chance. Do you want it fixed and made right in one hour? ain't gonna happen. As said, it takes coordination and insurance and some time. Clean up the floor and stop discussing holding back rent. You will be the one in trouble if you do that. The LL has time lines to respond and it is a holiday weekend. So far, the LL is well within the timelines. As with any household catastrophy, it is going to take a few days to get it set up, get supplies, get proper plumbers, sheetrock, painters and any other trade to repair.
Calmly discuss with the LL what if any remedies he has for you. There may or may not be concesions.
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:50 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,224 posts, read 14,918,804 times
Reputation: 14983
Oh good grief! Did you clean up the floor yet? Use some bleach or lysol in the water. Put a bucket and plastic under the bucket where it's dripping to catch any further leaks.

Withholding rent, unsanity whole room. You are serious enough to ask these questions. Yes, a toilet back-up creates an unsanitary condition, so clean it up; don't let a baby crawl on the floor in that room for now and do what YOU need to do to uphold your end. You would have been furious if the landlord tried to come over as soon as he got your message, 3, 4, 5 am?? If you want instant service, hotels will even send someone to clean up the mess for you. But it isn't a hotel and you aren't paying for instant service.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: The #1 sunshine state, Arizona.
12,172 posts, read 15,446,774 times
Reputation: 64033
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygeek View Post
I live in NJ.
Our upstairs neighbor's toilet flooded and it started leaking through our living room's ceiling. The water started leaking through the light bulb fixtures, smoke detector etc. It happened yesterday night. I tried to reach the landlord but in vain.
This morning when I saw it, I saw 25 sq ft of damage in the ceiling - drywall peeling back and cracking, water stain, etc and there was dirty water on the floor.
The landlord just came over this morning. He just took some pictures of it (may be for his insurance). He said he will call someone to clean the area but, no one has cleaned it. Since it is toilet water, the living area is not safe health-wise. So, it violates the health code. Also, the ceiling needs to be fixed.
What are my rights now? Should I just withhold the rent until the landlord fixes the damage?
,

How do you know it was the toilet? It could have been the sink, shower or bathtub. Were any of your personal items destroyed? Do you have renters insurance? Weren't you supposed to vacate, as you haven't paid rent?
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:27 AM
 
71,457 posts, read 71,629,249 times
Reputation: 49011
water leakscan be quite complicated issues. but unless there was negligence on the part of the person whos apartment had the leak you cant even collect from them if your personal stuff is damaged.

without renters insurance anything personally yours will not be paid for by the person having the leak.

we just had an issue where a pipe broke in my sons bathroom and flooded out two apartmentes below.

the people were shocked when they found out the building will fix the damage but anything ruined that was theirs they cant sue my son for since it was just a normal rotted pipe on the inside that broke.

only if it was negligence can you sue in most states in these cases. falling a sleep while filling the bath tub would be an example. changeing a plumbing fixture yourself and it leaks is another .

Last edited by mathjak107; 07-04-2011 at 06:32 AM..
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:07 AM
 
19,354 posts, read 17,468,922 times
Reputation: 10573
If you use any pots and pans to catch the dripping water, make sure you wash them thoroughly before you cook with them. I'd also clean any rugs or crapets thoroughly and make sure the landlord signs off on knowing that they might need replacing when you end your lease.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:14 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,350,450 times
Reputation: 26526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy Tea View Post
If you use any pots and pans to catch the dripping water, make sure you wash them thoroughly before you cook with them. I'd also clean any rugs or crapets thoroughly and make sure the landlord signs off on knowing that they might need replacing when you end your lease.
Lovely typo which gave me a good morning chuckle!
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:30 AM
 
3 posts, read 6,405 times
Reputation: 12
Give your landlord time to come and fix this problem. If they fail, threaten to keep the rent or use it to repair the damage. Landlords don't like loosing their rent especially, so he may respond urgently.
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