Can I sue my landlord for leaving me without a working bathroom for more than 2 days?

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2012

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Can I sue my landlord for leaving me without a working bathroom for more than 2 days?

Asked on September 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The answer is yes you can, but why bother?

All rentals have what's known as the implied warranty of habitability, or the obligation, imposed by law, to provide a rental that is fit for its intended purpose--such as residency. Lack of a working bathroom can violate that warranty.

However, damages--or the compensation you could receive--is limited to an abatement, or reduction or rebate, or rent for the time you lived with the condition. Say that your rent is $1,200 per month, or $40 per day. Even if a court credited you with a complete rent reduction for those two days--that is, you should not have to pay any rent while without a bathroom--the most you would get is $80, which does not seem worth the cost, time, or trouble of a lawsuit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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