House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

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ybdam
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:43 pm

On the evening of June 30th, water entered my rented apartment after heavy rains. It enters through a crack in the wall just outside the bathroom into the main bedroom and soaks up the carpet heavily. I slipped and fell on the tiles outside the bathroom and luckily wasn't hurt. The maintenance cleaned up and attended to the carpets and said it was fixed . On August 8th , there were heavy rains in the night and we didn't realize water had entered our house. My wife stepped on the water and fell at 2 am in night, twisted her knee and is under medication and physiotherapy. We are new parents and have an infant at home and are not comfortable and actually kinda scared to live there. I reached out to the landlord to move us to another unit or we break out of our lease and find a place outside.

The landlord assures that this has been permanently fixed and wont happen again. He also said there are no units to move us to since everything since all units are occupied till 2020. He doesn't agree to us breaking the lease and said we can claim liability through insurance and if I want to, sublease and move out.

We just renewed our lease till June 2020. The place though not ideal is not bad and we decided to move next year since we had our hands full with the baby and me starting a new job. Our intention is not to break the lease but to move to another unit or move out since we are concerned about the safety.

What are my options, legal or otherwise? I am a non-citizen (permanent resident) and haven't dealt with the legal system here. I am also not necessarily looking for legal options, just want to know the right course of action for the family and move on.

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Sandtrap
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:45 pm

ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:43 pm
On the evening of June 30th, water entered my rented apartment after heavy rains. It enters through a crack in the wall just outside the bathroom into the main bedroom and soaks up the carpet heavily. I slipped and fell on the tiles outside the bathroom and luckily wasn't hurt. The maintenance cleaned up and attended to the carpets and said it was fixed . On August 8th , there were heavy rains in the night and we didn't realize water had entered our house. My wife stepped on the water and fell at 2 am in night, twisted her knee and is under medication and physiotherapy. We are new parents and have an infant at home and are not comfortable and actually kinda scared to live there. I reached out to the landlord to move us to another unit or we break out of our lease and find a place outside.

The landlord assures that this has been permanently fixed and wont happen again. He also said there are no units to move us to since everything since all units are occupied till 2020. He doesn't agree to us breaking the lease and said we can claim liability through insurance and if I want to, sublease and move out.

We just renewed our lease till June 2020. The place though not ideal is not bad and we decided to move next year since we had our hands full with the baby and me starting a new job. Our intention is not to break the lease but to move to another unit or move out since we are concerned about the safety.

What are my options, legal or otherwise? I am a non-citizen (permanent resident) and haven't dealt with the legal system here. I am also not necessarily looking for legal options, just want to know the right course of action for the family and move on.
What kind of apartment building is this? (2 story, 1 story, all wood, cement floor, wood floor?)
How many stories high? Are you on a ground floor unit?
Is there a flooding problem in the yard or outside grounds from your unit when it rains?
How did rain water get into the apartment? Leaky roof? Though the outside wall? Plumbing leak?
Is this water leak from the roof?
Did you have any personal property damaged from the flooding, water?
Did you take pictures of the flooding both times?
Did you take lots of pictures?
What evidence do you have that the landlord took care of the rainwater leak problem? Was the roof repaired? Was the wall repaired?
Did any other tenants have water damage as well?
Was it your carpet that was wet and damaged or was the carpet there when you moved in?
Did the landlord send in people to dry the carpet and take care of the water damage?
Did you have any mold, mildew smell, or lingering dampness in the carpet and furniture, belongings, after the flood incidents? (health hazard)

Make a copy of the doctor's diagnosis for your wife's slipped knee and therapy, and also any expenses you had to pay.

The landlord is obligated to provide a dwellable unit that is safe and everything works the way it is supposed to work and is liable for damages if he does not. There are 2 very large issues. Safety and health. You have a lot of legal options as a tenant.

What do you want the landlord to do?
What do you want to do?

Let's go from there.

j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

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8foot7
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:45 pm

It's not clear what you want, but in any case, if your apartment floods again, then I would absolutely move, and I'd tell your landlord if he dares to come after you, you'll sue for damages + pain and suffering. An apartment that floods multiple times after repeated assurances of a completed repair that's already caused a longer-term injury to a tenant is not dwellable.

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ResearchMed
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:16 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:45 pm
It's not clear what you want, but in any case, if your apartment floods again, then I would absolutely move, and I'd tell your landlord if he dares to come after you, you'll sue for damages + pain and suffering. An apartment that floods multiple times after repeated assurances of a completed repair that's already caused a longer-term injury to a tenant is not dwellable.
Be careful just what you say at this point. That is, don't say something like "we'll sue IF xyz..."
You probably have considerable rights, at least about any medical costs (almost definitely) and also pain or lost wages (the latter could get trickier; it depends how bad this is).
And don't agree to anything until you know for sure how your wife is, that there isn't any long term problem.

And you almost definitely have the right to move. State/local landlord-tenant regulations may apply in addition your lease.

DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, including all emails or letters to landlord.
If you call (i recommend writing, to have a clear record), then make a note of the time, to whom you spoke, and a summary of what was said.
LOTS OF PHOTOS, of flooding, of injury, etc.

Good luck!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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8foot7
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:41 pm

Perhaps don't explicitly say something about a suit, but you need to let the landlord know firmly and without debate that this situation is unacceptable, that a 3x flooded apartment is not a suitable living space, and that you consider the lease broken because he's not provided a dwellable space. You need to be the type that won't be pushed around.

HomeStretch
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:43 pm

Consult with a personal injury attorney in your state if you want to understand all of the legal and other options available to you.

Two falls, two floods plus a newborn is a lot of issues. I’d also be concerned about mold behind walls and future water intrusion.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:44 pm

In addition to much good advice here, I also would consult/research any local or state regulations, tenants rights, etc.

megabad
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by megabad » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:59 pm

ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:43 pm
We just renewed our lease till June 2020.
Honest question--Why?

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dm200
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by dm200 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:38 pm

Are there any other similarly affected folks? If so, what are they doing?

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Sandtrap
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:49 pm

OP: many here are standing by for your valuable responses?

j :happy
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Clemblack
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Clemblack » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:52 pm

Why haven't you moved?

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snackdog
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by snackdog » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:38 pm

At the very least you should be aware of heavy rains going forward, assume leaks are probable and work to avoid any more falls.

Topic Author
ybdam
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:53 pm

Thank you for your reply. Sorry for the delayed response.

What kind of apartment building is this? (2 story, 1 story, all wood, cement floor, wood floor?) multi-unit apartment building; carpet + tile flooring
How many stories high? Are you on a ground floor unit? 3 floors ; I live on the 1st (ground floor)
Is there a flooding problem in the yard or outside grounds from your unit when it rains? Water stagnation adjacent to the front yard
How did rain water get into the apartment? Leaky roof? Though the outside wall? Plumbing leak? Leaky wall just above the floor outside the bathroom. Maintenance told me that there is water stagnation in the indoor parking which is getting into the house. Not sure how water gets into parking.
Is this water leak from the roof? No
Did you have any personal property damaged from the flooding, water? No
Did you take pictures of the flooding both times? Not for the 1st time, I have a picture of the recent one
Did you take lots of pictures? Just one picture
What evidence do you have that the landlord took care of the rainwater leak problem? Was the roof repaired? Was the wall repaired? I was told that they had plugged the crack in the parking lot using cement and have installed a pipe outside the front yard. I am not sure if this will fix the issue as I am still surprised the water gets into my house from the indoor parking lot.
Did any other tenants have water damage as well? I am not aware of any.
Was it your carpet that was wet and damaged or was the carpet there when you moved in?  Carpet when we moved in
Did the landlord send in people to dry the carpet and take care of the water damage? Yes
Did you have any mold, mildew smell, or lingering dampness in the carpet and furniture, belongings, after the flood incidents? (health hazard) There was dampness and smell for 3 days. I don’t have mold or smell now but with repeated incidents, I check the carpet regularly.

Make a copy of the doctor's diagnosis for your wife's slipped knee and therapy, and also any expenses you had to pay. Sure, I can get that

The landlord is obligated to provide a dwellable unit that is safe and everything works the way it is supposed to work and is liable for damages if he does not. There are 2 very large issues. Safety and health. You have a lot of legal options as a tenant. I am hoping this is the case. I am planning to contact the landlord again telling that providing a non-dwellable unit nullifies/released me from the lease

What do you want the landlord to do? Provide a safe unit and cover the expense for moving.
What do you want to do? Move to new unit or move out. I would expect the landlord to cover the moving expenses either to another unit or to move outside. I am not sure what else should I expect. It was a traumatic experience in the middle of the night. My wife was in pain, the baby woke up in shock from my wife's scream and was crying for one hour and I had a flooded house with water still flowing in. I have become paranoid always checking the floor.
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:45 pm
ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:43 pm
On the evening of June 30th, water entered my rented apartment after heavy rains. It enters through a crack in the wall just outside the bathroom into the main bedroom and soaks up the carpet heavily. I slipped and fell on the tiles outside the bathroom and luckily wasn't hurt. The maintenance cleaned up and attended to the carpets and said it was fixed . On August 8th , there were heavy rains in the night and we didn't realize water had entered our house. My wife stepped on the water and fell at 2 am in night, twisted her knee and is under medication and physiotherapy. We are new parents and have an infant at home and are not comfortable and actually kinda scared to live there. I reached out to the landlord to move us to another unit or we break out of our lease and find a place outside.

The landlord assures that this has been permanently fixed and wont happen again. He also said there are no units to move us to since everything since all units are occupied till 2020. He doesn't agree to us breaking the lease and said we can claim liability through insurance and if I want to, sublease and move out.

We just renewed our lease till June 2020. The place though not ideal is not bad and we decided to move next year since we had our hands full with the baby and me starting a new job. Our intention is not to break the lease but to move to another unit or move out since we are concerned about the safety.

What are my options, legal or otherwise? I am a non-citizen (permanent resident) and haven't dealt with the legal system here. I am also not necessarily looking for legal options, just want to know the right course of action for the family and move on.
What kind of apartment building is this? (2 story, 1 story, all wood, cement floor, wood floor?)
How many stories high? Are you on a ground floor unit?
Is there a flooding problem in the yard or outside grounds from your unit when it rains?
How did rain water get into the apartment? Leaky roof? Though the outside wall? Plumbing leak?
Is this water leak from the roof?
Did you have any personal property damaged from the flooding, water?
Did you take pictures of the flooding both times?
Did you take lots of pictures?
What evidence do you have that the landlord took care of the rainwater leak problem? Was the roof repaired? Was the wall repaired?
Did any other tenants have water damage as well?
Was it your carpet that was wet and damaged or was the carpet there when you moved in?
Did the landlord send in people to dry the carpet and take care of the water damage?
Did you have any mold, mildew smell, or lingering dampness in the carpet and furniture, belongings, after the flood incidents? (health hazard)

Make a copy of the doctor's diagnosis for your wife's slipped knee and therapy, and also any expenses you had to pay.

The landlord is obligated to provide a dwellable unit that is safe and everything works the way it is supposed to work and is liable for damages if he does not. There are 2 very large issues. Safety and health. You have a lot of legal options as a tenant.

What do you want the landlord to do?
What do you want to do?

Let's go from there.

j :D

Topic Author
ybdam
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:56 pm

Thank you for the reply. I was thinking of the same. I am going to contact the landlord once more saying not providing a dwellable unit is violating the lease.
8foot7 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:45 pm
It's not clear what you want, but in any case, if your apartment floods again, then I would absolutely move, and I'd tell your landlord if he dares to come after you, you'll sue for damages + pain and suffering. An apartment that floods multiple times after repeated assurances of a completed repair that's already caused a longer-term injury to a tenant is not dwellable.

Topic Author
ybdam
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:57 pm

Thanks for the suggestion, I will look into this.
dm200 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:44 pm
In addition to much good advice here, I also would consult/research any local or state regulations, tenants rights, etc.

Topic Author
ybdam
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:03 pm

The lease ended on June 30th, coincidentally the day of the last flooding but we renewed the lease 2 months earlier. The landlord sends us a notice 4 months in advance asking for a decision. This incident hadn't happened then and considering our situation at that time, we decided to extend this time and move out next year.
megabad wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:59 pm
ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:43 pm
We just renewed our lease till June 2020.
Honest question--Why?

Topic Author
ybdam
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:05 pm

Because we are under a lease. The lease ended on June 30th, coincidentally the day of the last flooding but we renewed the lease 2 months earlier. The landlord sends us a notice 4 months in advance asking for a decision. This incident hadn't happened then and considering our situation at that time, we decided to extend this time and move out next year.
Clemblack wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:52 pm
Why haven't you moved?

Topic Author
ybdam
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Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:06 pm

Not that I am aware of. From the what I see this may just be our house.
dm200 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:38 pm
Are there any other similarly affected folks? If so, what are they doing?

Jags4186
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:08 pm

ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:53 pm
What do you want the landlord to do? Provide a safe unit and cover the expense for moving.
What do you want to do? Move to new unit or move out. I would expect the landlord to cover the moving expenses either to another unit or to move outside. I am not sure what else should I expect. It was a traumatic experience in the middle of the night. My wife was in pain, the baby woke up in shock from my wife's scream and was crying for one hour and I had a flooded house with water still flowing in. I have become paranoid always checking the floor.
Not to make light of this, and IANAL, but I have watched a lot of Judge Judy and seen 100s of cases similar to this. You’ll be fine breaking the lease if everything is as described. You likely won’t get anything from the landlord covering moving expenses. You may need to sue in small claims court for your security deposit back if you go this route. If your wife has real injuries you should look into that. If your wife has a black and blue that will go away in a week you probably won’t get much if anything.

Topic Author
ybdam
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:09 pm

I have become paranoid always checking the floor
snackdog wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:38 pm
At the very least you should be aware of heavy rains going forward, assume leaks are probable and work to avoid any more falls.

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Sandtrap
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:26 pm

Given your answers.
1. You can likely move out when you want to. But, you have to give 30-45 day notice as you would normally.
2. You can claim water damage to personal property, time off from work to address the problem, medical reimbursements, etc. Whether the landlord will cover your moving expenses is a bit of a stretch. The landlord didn't cause the water issue through an action of his. It was due to an act of nature (rain). If he addressed the problem and it only happened once, then things could be more in his favor. The fact that it has happened multiple times is completely in your favor because the landlord did not remedy the problem.
3. You can compose a letter to the landlord.
a) list damages and inconveniences, costs you expect to be reimbursed for with copies of receipts, etc.
b) state your grievance that the apartment is "no longer a safe place to live" due to health hazard of flooding. (word it that way).
c) Then state exactly what you want in a logical manner. Such as:
A) reimbursement for expenses from flooding, health, etc.
B) lease to be amended to a "month to month" lease to give you the option to move with proper notice.

Be sure your letter is not a long "story or narrative". Make it concise and factual with specifics.
Do not threaten or mention calling the health department, hiring legal counsel/lawyer, or anything like that. Keep it courteous and business like.

If you don't feel comfortable doing the above, seek legal counsel. For a small fee they can draft a letter like this. The fact that it is received on legal counsel letterhead is usually more than enough to get immediate results.

Unfortunately, I've encountered more than several incidences like this (including with a couple and baby) as a landlord over the decades. A smart landlord will change your lease to "month to month" and let you move as long as proper notice is given. Reimbursement for moving expenses is unlikely. I would not press that issue.
Given the information you gave, I doubt that a landlord would have a case against a letter from legal counsel, let alone in small claims court. There are a lot of directions this thing can go and I would not want to be the landlord.

j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Topic Author
ybdam
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Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:40 pm

Thanks for your reply. I thought my ask for reasonable considering the safety of my family- that I be moved to another unit. I am pissed off that this repeated after assurance from last time and my wife got hurt ( the doctor says we can expect full recovery in 3-4 weeks with medication and physiotherapy) and I want to do something for the traumatic experience but I thought family safety is first and let me just move and be done with this. What irks me is that the landlord not only said he doesn't have spare units but he will sue if I break the lease and that I will lose if I sue (I didn't react much to it in order to be careful what I say). We argued back and forth for 15 mins and at the end of it he told me to sublease and move out and that I can claim damages though his liability insurance.

There is lack of accountability but if there is no better option at least I can sublease easily. It is a hot location throughout the year and I should find someone easily.

Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:08 pm
ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:53 pm
What do you want the landlord to do? Provide a safe unit and cover the expense for moving.
What do you want to do? Move to new unit or move out. I would expect the landlord to cover the moving expenses either to another unit or to move outside. I am not sure what else should I expect. It was a traumatic experience in the middle of the night. My wife was in pain, the baby woke up in shock from my wife's scream and was crying for one hour and I had a flooded house with water still flowing in. I have become paranoid always checking the floor.
Not to make light of this, and IANAL, but I have watched a lot of Judge Judy and seen 100s of cases similar to this. You’ll be fine breaking the lease if everything is as described. You likely won’t get anything from the landlord covering moving expenses. You may need to sue in small claims court for your security deposit back if you go this route. If your wife has real injuries you should look into that. If your wife has a black and blue that will go away in a week you probably won’t get much if anything.

Topic Author
ybdam
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:50 pm

Thanks J, lots of good and practical advice. Due to lack of knowledge of legal system here, is there a specific type of attorney that I should look for ? If I send it, can it be an email or should it be a physical letter?
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:26 pm
Given your answers.
1. You can likely move out when you want to. But, you have to give 30-45 day notice as you would normally.
2. You can claim water damage to personal property, time off from work to address the problem, medical reimbursements, etc. Whether the landlord will cover your moving expenses is a bit of a stretch. The landlord didn't cause the water issue through an action of his. It was due to an act of nature (rain). If he addressed the problem and it only happened once, then things could be more in his favor. The fact that it has happened multiple times is completely in your favor because the landlord did not remedy the problem.
3. You can compose a letter to the landlord.
a) list damages and inconveniences, costs you expect to be reimbursed for with copies of receipts, etc.
b) state your grievance that the apartment is "no longer a safe place to live" due to health hazard of flooding. (word it that way).
c) Then state exactly what you want in a logical manner. Such as:
A) reimbursement for expenses from flooding, health, etc.
B) lease to be amended to a "month to month" lease to give you the option to move with proper notice.

Be sure your letter is not a long "story or narrative". Make it concise and factual with specifics.
Do not threaten or mention calling the health department, hiring legal counsel/lawyer, or anything like that. Keep it courteous and business like.

If you don't feel comfortable doing the above, seek legal counsel. For a small fee they can draft a letter like this. The fact that it is received on legal counsel letterhead is usually more than enough to get immediate results.

Unfortunately, I've encountered more than several incidences like this (including with a couple and baby) as a landlord over the decades. A smart landlord will change your lease to "month to month" and let you move as long as proper notice is given. Reimbursement for moving expenses is unlikely. I would not press that issue.
Given the information you gave, I doubt that a landlord would have a case against a letter from legal counsel, let alone in small claims court. There are a lot of directions this thing can go and I would not want to be the landlord.

j

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Sandtrap
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:54 am

Any general practice attorney should be able to take care of it for you.
If you do it yourself, then physical letter sent return receipt certified.
**As you are unfamiliar with things and likely the landlord knows it, it would be in your best interest to have an attorney take care of it for you properly.
j
ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:50 pm
Thanks J, lots of good and practical advice. Due to lack of knowledge of legal system here, is there a specific type of attorney that I should look for ? If I send it, can it be an email or should it be a physical letter?
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:26 pm
Given your answers.
1. You can likely move out when you want to. But, you have to give 30-45 day notice as you would normally.
2. You can claim water damage to personal property, time off from work to address the problem, medical reimbursements, etc. Whether the landlord will cover your moving expenses is a bit of a stretch. The landlord didn't cause the water issue through an action of his. It was due to an act of nature (rain). If he addressed the problem and it only happened once, then things could be more in his favor. The fact that it has happened multiple times is completely in your favor because the landlord did not remedy the problem.
3. You can compose a letter to the landlord.
a) list damages and inconveniences, costs you expect to be reimbursed for with copies of receipts, etc.
b) state your grievance that the apartment is "no longer a safe place to live" due to health hazard of flooding. (word it that way).
c) Then state exactly what you want in a logical manner. Such as:
A) reimbursement for expenses from flooding, health, etc.
B) lease to be amended to a "month to month" lease to give you the option to move with proper notice.

Be sure your letter is not a long "story or narrative". Make it concise and factual with specifics.
Do not threaten or mention calling the health department, hiring legal counsel/lawyer, or anything like that. Keep it courteous and business like.

If you don't feel comfortable doing the above, seek legal counsel. For a small fee they can draft a letter like this. The fact that it is received on legal counsel letterhead is usually more than enough to get immediate results.

Unfortunately, I've encountered more than several incidences like this (including with a couple and baby) as a landlord over the decades. A smart landlord will change your lease to "month to month" and let you move as long as proper notice is given. Reimbursement for moving expenses is unlikely. I would not press that issue.
Given the information you gave, I doubt that a landlord would have a case against a letter from legal counsel, let alone in small claims court. There are a lot of directions this thing can go and I would not want to be the landlord.

j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

gretah
Posts: 235
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by gretah » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:56 am

I had flooding problems in an apartment which resulted in black mold and me being very ill. Almost died. Took 2 years to recover.

Test for mold. I think Home Depot has an inexpensive text. If mold is present, keep the test results and document them. Perhaps have a witness attend the test.

Move out right away. Your little one is very exposed and black mold can be deadly.

ponyboy
Posts: 916
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ponyboy » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:04 am

I always find it odd that people would rather stay at a place that they feel unsafe at...rather than possibly breaking a lease.

Let me put it a different way. If you had 2 options...option one is to jump off a cliff into a river. You may hit rocks towards the bottom and die. If you hit the water, you're good to go. Option 2...you can walk away from the cliff and pay the person who owns the land some money at a later date. You dont have to actually pay at the time, and its possible that you may not have to pay...but lets pretend you will have to pay no matter what. What option would you pick????

Why does everyone feel compelled to stay at a place that they feel unsafe? Just leave. Its going to cost the landlord a lot of money to try to get money from you. You may lose a security deposit, who cares. You can always make more money. Your life and safety is more important. Not to mention the aggravation and stress you two are undergoing. Your wife has been injured. Id have already left and consulted an attorney by now, just for that alone.

Topic Author
ybdam
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Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:50 pm

Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:13 pm

Thanks @gretah for the suggestion, will definitely do this.
gretah wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:56 am
I had flooding problems in an apartment which resulted in black mold and me being very ill. Almost died. Took 2 years to recover.

Test for mold. I think Home Depot has an inexpensive text. If mold is present, keep the test results and document them. Perhaps have a witness attend the test.

Move out right away. Your little one is very exposed and black mold can be deadly.

Topic Author
ybdam
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:27 pm

Thanks @ponyboy. I am definitely moving out and like I mentioned breaking the lease is not what this is about. However, when I spoke to the landlord yesterday, he made it about that. I was talking family safety and he was just talking lease. Whether I break the lease or make him agree to convert to a month-on-month or sublease, I am moving out asap. My first reaction was to hell with the lease and move out but I wanted some opinions since I am still relatively new in this country.
ponyboy wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:04 am
I always find it odd that people would rather stay at a place that they feel unsafe at...rather than possibly breaking a lease.

Let me put it a different way. If you had 2 options...option one is to jump off a cliff into a river. You may hit rocks towards the bottom and die. If you hit the water, you're good to go. Option 2...you can walk away from the cliff and pay the person who owns the land some money at a later date. You dont have to actually pay at the time, and its possible that you may not have to pay...but lets pretend you will have to pay no matter what. What option would you pick????

Why does everyone feel compelled to stay at a place that they feel unsafe? Just leave. Its going to cost the landlord a lot of money to try to get money from you. You may lose a security deposit, who cares. You can always make more money. Your life and safety is more important. Not to mention the aggravation and stress you two are undergoing. Your wife has been injured. Id have already left and consulted an attorney by now, just for that alone.

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LilyFleur
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by LilyFleur » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:41 pm

ybdam wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:09 pm
I have become paranoid always checking the floor
snackdog wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:38 pm
At the very least you should be aware of heavy rains going forward, assume leaks are probable and work to avoid any more falls.
Get these: https://www.amazon.com/Zircon-Leak-Aler ... KFDYFGFXRB

There is no reason to step into water if you have water alarms.

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dm200
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:14 pm

The BIG problem, in my opinion, of your doing a sub-lease to another tenant is that you might be judged as sub leasing a defective and potentially dangerous living space.

Fortunately, never had this flooding experience in a residence, but a fairly new building of an organization I am affiliated with had multiple lower level and main level flooding and excess water incidences. This led to a real mold problem that went into spaces in, on and in back of drywall, etc. What a mess!!!

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Sandtrap
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:41 pm

Subleasing is not a good idea.
Also, using the same landlord for another unit.
The whole idea of using legal counsel, or at least composing your own letter as previously suggested, is so that you are not breaking your lease, and will be ensured return of your security deposit when you move out. If you "skip" then you will lose your security deposit and also be liable for more.
It might be a good idea to start shopping for another place to move to.
j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Topic Author
ybdam
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by ybdam » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:22 am

Thank you. One good thing is that there is no security deposit, just $200 as key deposit.
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:41 pm
Subleasing is not a good idea.
Also, using the same landlord for another unit.
The whole idea of using legal counsel, or at least composing your own letter as previously suggested, is so that you are not breaking your lease, and will be ensured return of your security deposit when you move out. If you "skip" then you will lose your security deposit and also be liable for more.
It might be a good idea to start shopping for another place to move to.
j

megabad
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by megabad » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:26 am

I would consult an attorney as above and maybe try to wiggle out of the lease penalty free with a letter (give proper notice) and negotiation. But if the lease breakage fee is reasonable (I assume one or two months is customary) then I would just break it and pay it if you have to if the legal letter doesn't work. Some things are not worth the risk and stress. I am not sure if going to court for such a small claim would be worth it if you desire to lessen stress.

HomeStretch
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by HomeStretch » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:45 am

Consult an attorney as suggested ASAP in order to get your landlord to take you seriously. Stop dealing with your landlord directly without the benefit of legal advice.

IMO at this point with two potential personal injury claims on his property, he should be as accommodating as possible to allow you to move ASAP without financial penalty, reimbursing you for all OOP medical costs, offering to pay moving expenses as an apology and praying you don’t sue. The fact that he isn’t being reasonable about the situation is reason enough to obtain legal advice. Best of luck.

Hulu
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Re: House flooding due to heavy rains, injury and landlord's response

Post by Hulu » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:46 am

Landlord here. I’d read your state provided tenants’ right guidelines if there is one. And contact a contingency-based personal injury attorney with extensive tenant experience. And weigh what you want. If you don’t need the money maybe just get out and concentrate on life and the newborn.

In the future, look for a landlord that fixes most things within 24 hours and uses licensed, experienced vendors. Online reviews of landlords can be gamed/
fake. On the town records check if they have requested permits if they’ve owned the property for a while. It shows they are organized and above board. And look for a setup and neighbors that gives you the most of what you’re looking for.

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