Does my apartment owe me compensation for the time I didn’t have a stove?

UPDATED: Oct 24, 2011

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Does my apartment owe me compensation for the time I didn’t have a stove?

I’ve been living in an apartment for the passed 2 months while in college. For these months, the apartment has failed to pay repair anything in the apartment, including looking into the matter of my stove not working. Just today, they have gone ahead and repaired things and have started looking into the matter that is my stove. Do they legally owe me compensation for the time that I did not have a stove, seeing as how because of this I’ve had to buy food from restaurants, which is costly. Also, if this is legally acceptable, how would I go about it?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The apartment may well owe you compensation:

1) Not having a working stove could be a violation of what the law calls the implied warranty of habitability--i.e. the apartment may not have been fit for residence without a stove;

2) If you rented an apartment which was supposed to have a stove, then not having a working one coud be a violation of the lease, or represent fraud in the inducement of the lease (you were lied to about the appliances, to get you to rent).

The usual measure of compensation is either the difference in value between the rent you paid and the rent for an apartment lacking a stove, or else the out-of-pocket costs (e.g. takeout) you incured.

To get the money, if the apartment does not offer you something voluntarily, you'd have to sue. You could sue in small claims court where you could represent yourself and the costs are lower.

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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