Townhouse flooded- Do you think we can legally get out of the lease?

posted 1 week ago in Legal
Post # 31
2969 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2006

Laws may vary by state but I was a property manager in South Carolina for 5 years before we moved. We had leaks like this happen on more than one occasion. We called a professional remediation company to come in once the plumbing repair was completed, along with a carpet company that specializes in water extractions. They’re trained to deal with mold and moisture and making sure everything is remediated. Then we’d send in drywall contractors and painters to fix the cosmetic stuff. Definitely never let anyone out of their lease. It was always fixed properly though, and they had moisture readers to make sure nothing was left behind. If it’s done right, you won’t have any issues. 

Post # 32
1102 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

cq123 :  I don’t think you can break the lease for this. My ceiling itself to collapse every year. As long as they were putting a bandage on it, nothing I could do. To go to housing court to break a lease isn’t the most fun thing. How much longer is your lease?

Post # 33
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

daisy123 :  Yes I am a licensed agent so I already knew that.

But renters insurance would cover any of the renters damaged personal posessesions and also pay for them to stay in a hotel/rental while their place is being repaired/rebuilt.

Many renters think they are covered by the landlord and they are not. The Landlord policy only repairs the structure and THEIR property, but does not pay for the tenants destroyed possessions or living expenses if they cant stay in the unit.

Post # 34
2484 posts
Buzzing bee

It is going to vary by location, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.  There seems to be extensive repairs that will need to be done and it could actually make it easier for them if you moved out, but they also  might not want to lose that rent.

The association will be responsible for fixing the damages and remediation of any mold, but the loss of any of your personal items would be the responsibility of you and your fiance since you don’t have renters insurance.

My exH went through this before we moved in together.  A pipe burst in his closet and destroyed the walls and floor in the downstairs (he also was robbed twice) and the management company refused to let them break the lease.  It was awful.  

Post # 35
863 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Hopefully they fix everything to satisfaction, but if not then you should start sending certified letters outlining what needs to be fixed, they have a set time to address. Like I said before I had an upstairs neighbor pipe leak into my first floor apartment but I did live in one apartment that was hit by a tornado, I still wasn’t let out of the lease even with half the roof gone in the living room. They instead moved me to a different complex the company owned, maybe that’s an option I’d rhey have to do extensive work but then you could miss out on having a redone home. I do recommend renters for any future issues, my mother didn’t have renters and lost everything to a house fire. It was devastating and I had to give her several thousands of dollars just for basic necessities. Now I make sure she has that and doesn’t go without it. 

Post # 36
3117 posts
Sugar bee

cq123 :  your landlord is full of crap. They do not need to wait for the insurance company. Go see your local tenant rights organization and call the health department.

I will PM you. 

Post # 37
633 posts
Busy bee

In the places where I have dealt with this kind of thing, the regulations are clear – if you are in a lease and temporarily cannot reside there due to damage/flooding/fire, etc, the landlord has to pay for your accommodation somewhere else while you continue to pay your regular rent. If the temporary accommodation is more expensive, the landlord has to pay the overage. Some landlords have coverage for that in their insurance, some don’t, and it’s not the tenants problem either way. 


mel2 :  

Post # 38
2 posts

You are receiving some unsympathetic responses here.  This situation sucks!  I had something similar happen (a literal waterfall from the ceiling), and my landlords were horrible about it.  Water damage is stressful!  Focus on preserving your possessions.  Water moves in weird, unpredictable ways, so it may be in places you don’t expect.  I was surprised to discover a closet well away from the waterfall had soaking carpet.  

The real answer is that we can’t answer your question.  It will depend on where you live and the wording of your lease.  Some things you will want to look into:

1.  Your landlords may be legally required to pay for alternate accommodations until the damage is fixed.

2.  If this is a long standing complaint, you may be able to argue that they were negligent.

3.  Google “warranty of habitability” for your area.

4.  Document all interactions.  I was able to resolve problems with my horrible landlord because I documented all my attempts to contact them.

5.  Don’t expect your landlord to be your advocate.  Know your rights and demand that they fulfill their obligations.  

Post # 40
953 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

cq123 :  where I am if the landlord has to do repairs and you can’t stay they have to pay for your accomibations – I’m not sure about the rent is probably still have to pay that 


So I’d check into that with the landlord tentant contact in your area

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