What can I expect as compensation frommy landlord for ripping apart the ceiling in my room to fix an electrical problem?

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What can I expect as compensation frommy landlord for ripping apart the ceiling in my room to fix an electrical problem?

My lease began the beginning of last month. I moved in on that date. I expected a ready to go residence as he had been making repairs all summer. He told me and the other tenants that the house would be ready by the 1st. There was no electricity in the bathroom, the light fixtures did not work in my room. For the entire time I have been here, an electrician has been coming out with the landlord to try to fix the problem. Last night, I came home to find my room ceiling torn open and ceiling dustall over my things. My hands and feet turned black. He told a fellow tenant to tell me, but I didn’t receive the message.

Asked on July 21, 2011 Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) First, if the premises was not ready when you moved in, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of a rent abatement (rebate and downward adjustment) for the period you were without bathroom electricity and light fixtures in your room, since a rental premises without those things is worth less and rents for less than one with them.

2) Your landlord has to provide you with premises which are fit for their purpose (residence); if the landlord does not rectify the situation, including the ceiling, you may be able to seek a court order forcing him to do so--you might also be justified in paying for a contractor to fix things, and deducting the cost from your rent, though consult with an attorney before doing this, as doing so incorrectly can result in you being liable to the landlord and/or being subject to eviction.

3) If anything was damaged or destroyed by the dust, or requires expensive cleaning, you may be able to seek those costs from the landlord.


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