Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

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Marseille07
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Marseille07 »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:14 am Ahhhh. I see your confusion! :happy

OP said ""On top of paying $6k in move out fees, when I move out my rent increases by $1k a month (The rental market is hot this time of year)"

I believe that she is talking about what she will have to pay to rent a different apartment, not what someone else would pay to move into her current apartment. Apparently rental rates in her area have risen to the extent that she will have to pay more for a comparable apartment...

Hope that I am understanding the OP correctly on this and that it makes sense to us both! :beer
OK, that makes sense. However, this is assuming they move into a comparable apartment. Given the break-lease penalty is 6K, I'm guessing their rent is 3K/mo on a 2br, going up to 4K/mo elsewhere. I'm certain there are 1br or even a studio at 3K/mo or lower if they so choose.

Basically what I'm getting at is this 1K increase in rent can be avoided by their lifestyle choice, not an unavoidable event.
Last edited by Marseille07 on Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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nordsteve
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by nordsteve »

I think there’s a couple different options here.

1. Something has changed about OO.
2. Something has changed about the water.
3. Something has changed about the apartment.

Something to consider is renting a nearby hotel room for a couple days that receives water from the same municipal water supply. This would allow OP to verify that moving to a different location resolves the issue.

I would bring along things like towels and bed clothes from my apartment in order to reduce the number of variables in the experiment when I went to the hotel.
solargod007
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by solargod007 »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:55 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:47 pm You can get a filter pitcher or an in-line filter for your tap. If that works, it would take care of everything except your bathing.
I looked into this. Wanted to get a reverse osmosis unit for my kitchen sink; as reverse osmosis removes every contaminant: property management said no.
Is posting this issue-on the apartment/management's Facebook/twitter/social media and ask for help- an option?- to get more visibility. Not sure what the impact will be, but your relationship with the apartment manager will take a hit.
dknightd
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by dknightd »

The Op is probably allergic to something in the water. Or they just do not like their new place.
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galawdawg
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by galawdawg »

solargod007 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:50 am
yosemite_mountain wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:55 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 7:47 pm You can get a filter pitcher or an in-line filter for your tap. If that works, it would take care of everything except your bathing.
I looked into this. Wanted to get a reverse osmosis unit for my kitchen sink; as reverse osmosis removes every contaminant: property management said no.
Is posting this issue-on the apartment/management's Facebook/twitter/social media and ask for help- an option?- to get more visibility. Not sure what the impact will be, but your relationship with the apartment manager will take a hit.
At this point, I would be cautious about such an approach and would personally not recommend it. The only water test, one that OP procured, showed no contamination. If she now posts "landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment" on a public forum and identifies that landlord....not a good idea. Based upon the facts thus far presented, OP could potentially be found liable to the landlord for damages in a libel action.

Note: I am not OP's lawyer and not admitted in California.
quantAndHold
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by quantAndHold »

Mako wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:25 am
galawdawg wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:14 am
Ahhhh. I see your confusion! :happy

OP said ""On top of paying $6k in move out fees, when I move out my rent increases by $1k a month (The rental market is hot this time of year)"

I believe that she is talking about what she will have to pay to rent a different apartment, not what someone else would pay to move into her current apartment. Apparently rental rates in her area have risen to the extent that she will have to pay more for a comparable apartment...

Hope that I am understanding the OP correctly on this and that it makes sense to us both! :beer
If the rental market is that hot OP could likely move out now and the landlord could find a new tenant for at least the same rent rather quickly. I assume (without knowing CA law, and I am not your lawyer OP, but from google it appears they have a duty to make reasonable efforts to re-rent to a new tenant rather than charge the lease balance) that this would greatly reduce the $6000 quoted, but OP should consult a lawyer licensed in their jurisdiction to review their lease. This frankly seems easier than this wild goose chase of finding out what, if anything, is wrong with the water.
This is a good point. This is in CA. OP, I would just move, and then fight the $6k fee for breaking the lease. Considering the housing market here, I suspect that’s an idle threat.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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yosemite_mountain
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by yosemite_mountain »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:39 am
galawdawg wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:26 am That may well be, but without some evidence that there is an issue with the water quality, OP's problem will likely remain unresolved unless she moves out and incurs the liability for payment of the applicable early termination fees and the higher future monthly rent payments she mentioned. If she simply moves out and OP's distress/condition persists because there was no water quality issue, then she has incurred significant additional expense without any improvement in her situation.
The OP doesn't care about the higher future monthly rent payments. Also, it was already mentioned that they lived in different units at the same apartment complex without issues. It is extremely likely that moving out of this particular unit solves the issue.
To clarify, I do care about the higher future monthly rent payments. Paying an extra $1k a month is not within my budget at all. Since its the summer the market is at an all time high. I am trying to wait 1 to 2 months until rental prices decrease, then I can move out.

Currently I am renting the cheapest 1 bedroom apartment available on the market, and it's still costing an arm and a leg. Bay Area prices are insane its ridiculous.

I agree that its extremely likely that moving out of this particular unit solves the issue.
Last edited by yosemite_mountain on Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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yosemite_mountain
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by yosemite_mountain »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:58 am
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:39 am
galawdawg wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:26 am That may well be, but without some evidence that there is an issue with the water quality, OP's problem will likely remain unresolved unless she moves out and incurs the liability for payment of the applicable early termination fees and the higher future monthly rent payments she mentioned. If she simply moves out and OP's distress/condition persists because there was no water quality issue, then she has incurred significant additional expense without any improvement in her situation.
The OP doesn't care about the higher future monthly rent payments. Also, it was already mentioned that they lived in different units at the same apartment complex without issues. It is extremely likely that moving out of this particular unit solves the issue.
Where does she say that? All I saw was her post that "On top of paying $6k in move out fees, when I move out my rent increases by $1k a month (The rental market is hot this time of year)" and her subsequent post that "While 140k may seem like a lot, most of this goes to taxes and expenses. I live in a very high cost of living area so I do not get to save much."

As far as moving out of this particular apartment, according to the OP it will cost her $6k in fees plus the additional $1,000 monthly rent for each future month. The full panel comprehensive water test will likely run about $500-$750 (per sample for a total of about $1,000-$1,500 as a one-time expense to test both hot and cold). So the additional test is much less expensive than moving out. As I mentioned, if that testing reveals a water quality issue for which the landlord is responsible, the OP very likely has a cognizable claim against the landlord for both reimbursement of the testing expense and rent abatement for the time period involved.

Additionally, if the OP is reluctant to spend $1,000-$1,500 as a one-time expense to have additional tests performed, what makes you think she won't balk at paying $1,000 per month in higher rent as an ongoing expense?

By the way OP, there are several accredited commercial water quality labs in San Francisco that could perform those tests for you, just look at my link early in the thread to locate them and contact them. If you explain your concerns and issues, I'm sure they can help you set up the necessary and appropriate testing and provide exact price quotes.
Thanks for the links. I am gonna call and check pricing. I want to take samples from both hot and cold supplies of the shower and kitchen sink.
Marseille07
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Marseille07 »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:21 pm To clarify, I do care about the higher future monthly rent payments. Paying an extra $1k a month is not within my budget at all. Since its the summer the market is at an all time high. I am trying to wait 1 to 2 months until rental prices decrease, then I can move out.

Currently I am renting the cheapest 1 bedroom apartment available on the market, and it's still costing an arm and a leg. Bay Area prices are insane its ridiculous.

I agree that its extremely likely that moving out of this particular unit saves the issue.
Thanks for the clarification. I don't know if relocation is a possibility, but I'd also explore this route. This would take care of high rent & the water issue at the same time. I moved during shelter in place myself, though not due to high rent or water issues.
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tomsense76
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by tomsense76 »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:38 pm
yosemite_mountain wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:21 pm To clarify, I do care about the higher future monthly rent payments. Paying an extra $1k a month is not within my budget at all. Since its the summer the market is at an all time high. I am trying to wait 1 to 2 months until rental prices decrease, then I can move out.

Currently I am renting the cheapest 1 bedroom apartment available on the market, and it's still costing an arm and a leg. Bay Area prices are insane its ridiculous.

I agree that its extremely likely that moving out of this particular unit saves the issue.
Thanks for the clarification. I don't know if relocation is a possibility, but I'd also explore this route. This would take care of high rent & the water issue at the same time. I moved during shelter in place myself, though not due to high rent or water issues.
Most landlords are happy to relocate tenants to new apartments or even different buildings (assuming they are owned by the same landlord). If this would help, it seems straightforward to do.
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Marseille07
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Marseille07 »

tomsense76 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:17 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:38 pm
yosemite_mountain wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:21 pm To clarify, I do care about the higher future monthly rent payments. Paying an extra $1k a month is not within my budget at all. Since its the summer the market is at an all time high. I am trying to wait 1 to 2 months until rental prices decrease, then I can move out.

Currently I am renting the cheapest 1 bedroom apartment available on the market, and it's still costing an arm and a leg. Bay Area prices are insane its ridiculous.

I agree that its extremely likely that moving out of this particular unit saves the issue.
Thanks for the clarification. I don't know if relocation is a possibility, but I'd also explore this route. This would take care of high rent & the water issue at the same time. I moved during shelter in place myself, though not due to high rent or water issues.
Most landlords are happy to relocate tenants to new apartments or even different buildings (assuming they are owned by the same landlord). If this would help, it seems straightforward to do.
Yeah, though it was mentioned that there would be some penalty for doing that. The OP might want to ask how much that is.
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tomsense76
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by tomsense76 »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:19 pm
tomsense76 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:17 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:38 pm
yosemite_mountain wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:21 pm To clarify, I do care about the higher future monthly rent payments. Paying an extra $1k a month is not within my budget at all. Since its the summer the market is at an all time high. I am trying to wait 1 to 2 months until rental prices decrease, then I can move out.

Currently I am renting the cheapest 1 bedroom apartment available on the market, and it's still costing an arm and a leg. Bay Area prices are insane its ridiculous.

I agree that its extremely likely that moving out of this particular unit saves the issue.
Thanks for the clarification. I don't know if relocation is a possibility, but I'd also explore this route. This would take care of high rent & the water issue at the same time. I moved during shelter in place myself, though not due to high rent or water issues.
Most landlords are happy to relocate tenants to new apartments or even different buildings (assuming they are owned by the same landlord). If this would help, it seems straightforward to do.
Yeah, though it was mentioned that there would be some penalty for doing that. The OP might want to ask how much that is.
Would suspect this is a one time fee. Landlord may also be willing to waive this.
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simplextableau
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by simplextableau »

I don't know if you have a water softener, but there are cleaning additives in the salt pellets sold in stores. Some people develop allergies to those chemicals and have to switch to a product without them. (e.g. Morton Pure & Natural instead of the usual Morton Clean & Protect).
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yosemite_mountain
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by yosemite_mountain »

simplextableau wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:30 pm I don't know if you have a water softener, but there are cleaning additives in the salt pellets sold in stores. Some people develop allergies to those chemicals and have to switch to a product without them. (e.g. Morton Pure & Natural instead of the usual Morton Clean & Protect).
No, no water softener
Marseille07
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Marseille07 »

Yeah multiple people (including myself) already suggested upthread to check the lease terms or check with the landlord if subleasing is a possibility. If so, this would be a very viable option.
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by LadyGeek »

Discussions of dishonest behavior or bypassing the law is totally unacceptable.

I removed a post suggesting to sublet illegally (violation of lease).
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Jeepergeo
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Jeepergeo »

In a pressurized oublic water supply system, it is very unlikely that contamination is getting into the system.

Check with the local water department...they will have testing for the public sude of the water meter. If the public side is good and there is no pressure gap on tge private side if the meter, it is unlikely a contamination issue unless someone is pumping something back into the system via a pump or via a backflow situation. The water department technician can explain that in more detail.

Don't rule out psychosomatic issues. Typically, water problems effect many users, not just one. If others in your area or complex are not having issues, it is likely not a water quality issue.
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by CurlyDave »

tomsense76 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:17 pm
...Most landlords are happy to relocate tenants to new apartments or even different buildings (assuming they are owned by the same landlord). If this would help, it seems straightforward to do.
As a small landlord, I have done this once and would be very reluctant to do it again. Essentially I have to clean & paint two units instead of just one. There will be a charge for this move.
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tomsense76
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by tomsense76 »

CurlyDave wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:28 am
tomsense76 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:17 pm
...Most landlords are happy to relocate tenants to new apartments or even different buildings (assuming they are owned by the same landlord). If this would help, it seems straightforward to do.
As a small landlord, I have done this once and would be very reluctant to do it again. Essentially I have to clean & paint two units instead of just one. There will be a charge for this move.
Yeah can see how this would be a hassle for a smaller property. It sounds like OP is in a large apartment complex. So they likely have staff doing this anyways.

Agree there will likely be a fee.
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student
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by student »

tomsense76 wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:02 pm
CurlyDave wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:28 am
tomsense76 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:17 pm
...Most landlords are happy to relocate tenants to new apartments or even different buildings (assuming they are owned by the same landlord). If this would help, it seems straightforward to do.
As a small landlord, I have done this once and would be very reluctant to do it again. Essentially I have to clean & paint two units instead of just one. There will be a charge for this move.
Yeah can see how this would be a hassle for a smaller property. It sounds like OP is in a large apartment complex. So they likely have staff doing this anyways.

Agree there will likely be a fee.
OP mentioned earlier that she had asked about this option and was told that there will be a penalty.
Marseille07
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Marseille07 »

student wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:50 pm OP mentioned earlier that she had asked about this option and was told that there will be a penalty.
Right, but I don't believe the penalty amount was shared. The OP should ask for this information if not done so already. If something like $500, I'd just take the penalty and move to another unit.
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HomeStretch
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by HomeStretch »

Marseille07 wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:00 pm
student wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:50 pm OP mentioned earlier that she had asked about this option and was told that there will be a penalty.
Right, but I don't believe the penalty amount was shared. The OP should ask for this information if not done so already. If something like $500, I'd just take the penalty and move to another unit.
+1. The hypothetical $500 penalty would be reduced by the cost savings to OP from not having to pay an independent lab do additional testing on the current apartment’s water. Assuming that OP is planning to have additional testing done.
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Beensabu
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Beensabu »

yosemite_mountain wrote: Sat Aug 28, 2021 1:21 pm Ever since I moved in, when I ingest any water from brushing, washing my face, rinsing fruits/vegetables, I get nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain. In addition when I take a shower, l get huge painful cysts on my face and scalp (folliculitis).
gobel wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:12 pm Yuck, maybe something is stuck in the faucet aerators. Do you have the same reaction to the water from the bathtub spout (no aerator) as from the showerhead? Can you unscrew your sink's faucet aerator and run the water to see if anything was backed up in there? And maybe take an old toothbrush and scrub the aerator a bit. Make sure you close the drain before unscrewing so that you don't lose a part down the drain.
This. Nobody has responded to this excellent advice.

Replace your shower head and see what happens.

There is a little thingy at the end of each of your faucets - it's that last 1/4-1/2" ring of metal. It does indeed come off, though you might need a wrench if nobody has taken it off in a long time. If you take it off, you will likely find it packed with disgusting, gummy, reddish brown colored gunk. That gunk makes you sick. Check them on each faucet. Clean them. Really, really, really clean them.

One tell-tale sign that this is your problem is the water flow. If the water flow from the faucets is less than normal or to be expected, then that gunk is in there. Get it out.
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Starfish
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Starfish »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:12 am
At this point, I would be cautious about such an approach and would personally not recommend it. The only water test, one that OP procured, showed no contamination. If she now posts "landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment" on a public forum and identifies that landlord....not a good idea. Based upon the facts thus far presented, OP could potentially be found liable to the landlord for damages in a libel action.

Note: I am not OP's lawyer and not admitted in California.



Sounds about right.
1. Nobody has any issue except OP
2. The only test did not reveal anything.

So what is to fix why is the landlord guilty?
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FreeAtLast
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by FreeAtLast »

OP -

When you finally come to a decision that completely (or partially) resolves your situation, please inform all of us. Inquiring minds want to know. :D
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tenkuky
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by tenkuky »

Beensabu wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:34 pm
There is a little thingy at the end of each of your faucets - it's that last 1/4-1/2" ring of metal. It does indeed come off, though you might need a wrench if nobody has taken it off in a long time. If you take it off, you will likely find it packed with disgusting, gummy, reddish brown colored gunk. That gunk makes you sick. Check them on each faucet. Clean them. Really, really, really clean them.
:shock:
Are we supposed to do this on a regular basis?
I don't believe I have ever checked inside our faucets in all the years of owning homes.
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Beensabu
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by Beensabu »

tenkuky wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:52 am
Beensabu wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:34 pm
There is a little thingy at the end of each of your faucets - it's that last 1/4-1/2" ring of metal. It does indeed come off, though you might need a wrench if nobody has taken it off in a long time. If you take it off, you will likely find it packed with disgusting, gummy, reddish brown colored gunk. That gunk makes you sick. Check them on each faucet. Clean them. Really, really, really clean them.
:shock:
Are we supposed to do this on a regular basis?
I don't believe I have ever checked inside our faucets in all the years of owning homes.
I never knew until I knew. But once you know, you know.

Most people replace the whole faucet (or the landlord does) for some reason or another before they have to worry about checking this. But if you've been fixing problems with "parts sold separately" and it's been a few years, then you should check the aerator thingy.
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mchampse
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Re: Landlord won't fix contaminated water in the apartment

Post by mchampse »

I’m a Bay Area landlord, here’s my 2 cents.

Your landlord is being an a$$hole. I would give them 30 days notice that you intend to move and ask them to deduct your final rent payment from your security deposit. (I recognize that your lease says you can’t do this, but lets go with it). Note the effect of the water on you and your efforts to work with the landlord to no avail and their unprofessional unwillingness to communicate with you. Offer to let the landlord show the place while you are still living there.

The process to evict a tenant is long and cumbersome and it won’t happen within 30 days. Your landlord has to “mitigate” his damages by looking for another tenant. If rent prices have increased and he can rent your place for more, he isn’t entitled to anything from you. Given that you’ve only been there a few months, it isn’t likely the place needs painting or anything else.

Suing in small claims is a hassle. They have to find you to serve you a claim.Then they have to show up to court and plead their case. You’ll be telling the judge that you’ve had an issue with the water, tried to work it out with the landlord but they did nothing. Offered to add a reverse-osmosis unit at your own expense and offered to move within the complex and they stopped talking to you.

Small claims in CA is notorious for being arbitrary at the best of times and if you can get a judge to sympathize, they’ll rule in your favor. They have to justify the $6k move out expense which I doubt they will be able to. They can get you for advertising expenses to re-rent the place and any lost rent and that’s about it. Both of these will be minimal in this market.

You have a 50-50 chance of winning and can appeal if you lose (the landlord can’t appeal if he wins). If he does win, it’s a cumbersome process to collect a judgment. He has to go to your bank with your account number and ask them to deduct it from your account. If you close the account you used to make rent payments, they’ll have no chance to collect the money.

They know all of the above and will likely not even bother with it.
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