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My owner lives 3-4hrs distance from the apartment I'm renting from him. Water backed up from kitchen sink and damaged the Dining hall carpet. It was then dried and then was all good for a week.
Later on a Sunday, I saw water backing up from kitchen sink. Informed owner via text MSG and email to send someone ASAP orelse it might flood the apartment but he didn't respond till evening and then said "I will look at it tommorow". The next day I woke up to see the apartment flooded the kitchen sink, dining hall, laundry room and bathroom are affected with this.

The cause was someone was flushing sanitary napkins down the toilet. Renters insurance said they might not provide me temp housing. My lease ends in November and I have already paid November's rent. Owner didn't drop by to look at it nor sent anyone to look at the property for 8 days since the flooding.
Now sewer line is connected to other apartments - my neighbors and top floor. The tenant from top floor moved out of the apartment.
Owners now blaming me for flushing sanitary napkins down the toilet when I didn't.
He is threading me to take this to legal.

I know I didn't do it. If he takes this to legal can I counter sue him for causing me all these inconveniences and discomfort? Also, for not being cooperative during this time?
Because of him I ended up living in the apartment Partially soaked with sewer water for around two weeks now. He is not letting me go off the lease.
I'm moving out this Friday and have agreed to pay the rent for two months - the time when apt is undergoing repairs.

Any advise? Suggestions? Thanks.

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IANAL
Why are you agreeing to pay rent for an apartment that can't be living in when the owner is not paying for alternative living arrangements?

Candace19 said:   My lease ends in November and I have already paid November's rentHuh ? It is AUG 21 today. Why have you paid through NOV 30 ?

Candace19 said:   I'm moving out this Friday and have agreed to pay the rent for two months - the time when apt is undergoing repairsWhy did you agree to do that ?

Candace19 said:   He is threading me to take this to legalYou say you are certain you did not do it, but if he finds your fresh DNA I suppose he might win such a suit.

Candace19 said:   
The cause was someone was flushing sanitary napkins down the toilet.


I had the same happen to a rental last weekend; my tenant was dumb enough to flush those wipes, but smart enough to call the rooter.
Problem solved. I reminded her that a toilet is not a trash can.
She mentioned that the rooter bill was $288, and I acknowledged it and said I was sorry for her expense, but I won't reimburse for it.
I suppose it would've been cheaper had it not been a Sunday.

Still bugs me that adults can be so.. dumb. Hopefully she learnt something.

But I didn't flush it. I have been living in rental apartments for close to 5 years now.
The sewer line is connected to my top house on second floor and the neighbors. Mine is on first floor. How can he win the case if I didn't do it? Since sewer water is shared, the DNA sample can be from others as well.

I just want to get out of this mess hence I agreed to pay the rent and not have to undergo lease breakage with owner. He threatened me about taking to legal if I break the lease. And as it is just two months minus the time when apartment is undergoing repairs, I agreed.

Now after 9 days he is accusing me of something that I didn't do. He refused to pay temp housing. As he was being careless and didn't contact plumber on time and refused to pay for temp housing, what are my options here?

Oh and I have been living in the same house for little over two years now. In case this information helps.

Candace19 said:   My owner lives 3-4hrs distance from the apartment I'm renting from him.

Just in case, it is illegal to own people now a days...

Candace19 said:   I just want to get out of this mess hence I agreed to pay the rent and not have to undergo lease breakage with owner. He threatened me about taking to legal if I break the leaseYou need to call your state or local rental authority.

sfvera said:   Candace19 said:   My owner lives 3-4hrs distance from the apartment I'm renting from him.

Just in case, it is illegal to own people now a days...


Depends on where you live....

Agreeing to pay 2 months rent for an apt you won't be living in makes you sound guilty. Why would someone agree to pay rent for an apt that is unusable? I don't understand why people make stupid decisions then come here and try to get advice on how to fix their problems.
My father had a good statement when it came to woodworking, but I think it applies to many of lifes issues........... "Measure twice, cut once". Meaning, before you make a mistake that you cannot correct, be sure of what you are doing.

The landlords in this thread irk me, considering I almost had to drag one to court over the infamous "the ladies are flushing their panties" excuse. First off, some sanitary napkins are completely flushable, they would be no worse than flushing a reasonable amount of toilet tissue. Unless your lease specifically restricts it (which I'm not sure would be legal under "quiet enjoyment" clauses), it is not your fault for flushing something specifically designed to be flushed. If I were Ptieman's tenant, he'd be getting served or we'd be going through rent escrow procedures right now(though I probably could have unclogged a toilet myself).

My bet is that he has absolutely no evidence of anything illicit (you think a plumber is going to fish material out of a sewer line for forensics?), and is threatening you so you don't either A. Attempt to get your rent back, or B. Sue him for damages. The most likely culprit IMO is that the vacant upstairs apartment, via gravity, was providing a bit of a rooter effect for a previous damaged or unmaintained sewer line. Since most of the "action" was occuring on the ground floor since the vacancy, clogs are more likely to occur. Don't let him bully you.

Look up renter laws for your state, and get in touch with the rental authority.
<edit> it doens't look like many PIRGs seem all that interested in rental issues any more, more's the pity.

Candace19 said:   I just want to get out of this mess hence I agreed to pay the rent and not have to undergo lease breakage with owner. He threatened me about taking to legal if I break the lease. And as it is just two months minus the time when apartment is undergoing repairs, I agreed.

Now after 9 days he is accusing me of something that I didn't do. He refused to pay temp housing. As he was being careless and didn't contact plumber on time and refused to pay for temp housing, what are my options here?


You've made the situation harder on yourself by making dumb decisions. Call the local rental agency before you end up having to give him your first born child.

And regardless, if you paid through November, he can't rent your space out before then without giving you a credit. The space is yours.

Now that you are getting informed and prepared for court it is time you pull the foot from your mouth and call the landlord again and make the following statement.

1. You have been informed of a issue on your property that you chose to ignore, I have proof of this in my phone bill and call history (you really should have called too)
2. You have no proof that I did any damage nor will you be able to prove this since I didn't and you know that the line is shared and the problem occurred from the tenant above
3. Under state code (google is your friend) a lease is allowed to be terminated when unsafe and unfit living conditions are evident. I have pictures of the backed up black water and cannot live safely in YOUR property any longer. You property condition has warranted a lease termination.
4. I am willing to work for a mutual agreement to settle this for the termination of the lease return of prepaid rent and $500 in relocation expenses or I will contact the rental authority and have them inspect the situation and make a report and I will file a lawsuit for the remainder of the lease of a place I cannot live in, the damage to my personal property, my relocation expenses, and any other expense incurred because of your oversight.

I am not your lawyer, this is my opinion on how I would start. Don't present as a pushover and they won't treat you like one.

Don't pay him.

The property is not habitable. The landlord is legally required to provide a habitable property. This is cause for you to break your lease. You should NOT be paying the landlord rent while he takes his sweet time to eventually fix such a problem.

I don't know if he's threating to sue you cause he actually thinks you did the damage or hes just trying to bully you. (if its the later then it seems its working) If he wants to try and come after you for rent then let him. Let him spend money to try and sue you for it. Go to court and argue your case. You should win.

IANAL. I'd recommend you try and find a local rental advocacy agency for yoru city/state. There are often organizations that will assist renters with disputes.

I'm a landlord myself. I've had a property with water damage, I repaired it as fast as possible (slower than I'd like but as fast as I could). We did not charge the tenant any rent for the month even thought they were only displaced 2-3 weeks.

From years of reading FWF, I can definitively tell you that you should not text your landlord "This house be stank!" No good will come from this for you.

Owner is now saying that he has proof - pictures and documents. It's not sanity napkins but sanitary wipes or cat wipes.
He is asking for my renters's insurance number to talk to them and wrote an email to me saying - they took the stuff out from my unit and he has proof that it was stuck only in the sewer line of my unit not the main one. If it was from my unit, then how come my neighbor's unit flooded?

He is now pointing to me that I did it and asked me to pay for all the costs.

Candace19 said:   Owner is now saying that he has proof - pictures and documents. It's not sanity napkins but sanitary wipes or cat wipes.
Did you flush non-flushable "sanitary" or cat wipes? If you flushed wipes that were labeled flushable, I'd stand your ground.

Have you spoken to your local tenant rights organization, housing authority, etc?

re: your landlord's "proof" on account of the location of the clog, I'd suggest consulting a plumbing forum (like plbg.com) for advice.

Tell'm to pound sand. Unless you have some major digestive issues, a reasonably maintained sewer line can handle a few wet wipes a day(not sure what cat wipes are though). Where in the lease does it say what otherwise flushable items shall not be flushed? I still stand by my theory that the pipes are rotting out, and the only thing keeping them open were regular upstairs flushes assisted by gravity.


And I take 1-3 odds that he ain't got a picture of d!ck. Admit no fault, tell you want your money back for future rent and pursue the proper channels for breaking a lease for cause. You never mentioned any sec. dep., have your written that off too?

And if lawsuits are being threatened, it's probably time to find some real, non-interweb help. A lawyer might be out of your price range, so start with free services first (housing commission).

Ok now that we know it's sanitary wipes or cat wipes, comes the important question - did you do this?

If you did, give him
Your renters insurance info and let him make a claim and let THEM settle it- that's why you buy insurance.

If you absolutely did not do this, tell him in a documented way (letter text or email) and then
Proceed to the county health dept to file a complaint against your landlord for failure to provide a habitable unit.

Everyone here knows I never recommend this, but if your landlord is truly lying about this and you didn't do it , it's time for you to get this guy

What the hell is a cat wipe?


Keep your Cat fresh and clean in one easy wipe.

Cat Wipes make it easy to have a clean, fresh-smelling kitty. Extra thick wipes measure 7" x 8" and contain a combination of cleansers, moisturizers, vitamins, and a light fragrance. They're great for everyday cleaning, wiping dirty paws, and wiping away the dander and excess hair that can cause human cat allergies. No water or rinsing means less stress for your cat. Petkin wipes are alcohol free and 100% non-toxic to pets and people.

Crazytree said:   What the hell is a cat wipe?I think your avatar knows

My renters's insurance agent said that any structural damage is that overhead. Also, given two houses were flooded the landlord mostly doesn't has a ground/solid proof.
There are 3 units attached. Anyone could have done it. Firstly, I din't flush any sanitary wipes. Second, if landlord claims that the wipes were only from my unit, it would have not flooded my neighbors apartment same way it did mine.

Now, I have been living there for over two years now. His accusation is just to get money from me.

* structural damage is not covered in renters's insurance. It's landlord's responsibility.

uutxs said:   Keep your Cat fresh and clean in one easy wipe. Cat Wipes make it easy to have a clean, fresh-smelling kittyIf you need a wipe to keep your kitty smelling fresh, there is something else going on with it. A cat keeps itself clean by licking.

Candace19 said:   It's not sanity napkins but sanitary wipes or cat wipesDo you have a kitty ? If so, he is probably targeting you. That is discrimination.

Candace19 said:   * structural damage is not covered in renters's insurance. It's landlord's responsibility.

Does ruined carpet count as structural damage? I would consider that cosmetic (and a potential health hazard).

Candace19 said:    Second, if landlord claims that the wipes were only from my unit, it would have not flooded my neighbors apartment same way it did mine.


not following your logic on the flooding, are you saying the unit above you flooded as well? why would it prove which unit it came from if it clogged after it hits the main from your unit.

The unit besides me is flooded as well.

Candace19 said:   My renters's insurance agent said that any structural damage is that overhead. Also, given two houses were flooded the landlord mostly doesn't has a ground/solid proof.
There are 3 units attached. Anyone could have done it. Firstly, I din't flush any sanitary wipes. Second, if landlord claims that the wipes were only from my unit, it would have not flooded my neighbors apartment same way it did mine.

Now, I have been living there for over two years now. His accusation is just to get money from me.


You only stated you didn't flush sanitary wipes/

Did you put ANY kind of wipes- cat wipes, baby wipes ANY wipes into the sewer system? You need to be very clear about this.

Also don't let your renters insurance agent talk you out of a claim. If you put ANY kind of wipes or material that isn't toilet paper into the sewer, give your landlord your insurance info and let them settle or deny the claim.

People wipe their cat's asses? Damn this society is a lost cause.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   If you put ANY kind of wipes or material that isn't toilet paper into the sewer, give your landlord your insurance info and let them settle or deny the claim.
If she flushed flushable wipes, I still think she should stand her ground.

Not that I ever watched it, but didn't that chick on friends write a song about a smelly cat? Without a full plumbing schematic, I can't tell for certain, but if multiple units flood, and they all have toilets on the same stack, there is NO way he has any case against you. Ask him for documentation as to the last time he had a sewer line inspection. And while the landlords here are very anti-wipe, and I admit those clorox cleaning wipes do clog plumbing, the"personal" wipes are perfectly flushable under proper plumbing conditions. In fact, i think if they reduce the amount of tp, they would be better alternative.

Cleaning wipes 'blocking drains'
Water companies in England and Wales say they're getting hundreds of call-outs a day to deal with wet wipes blocking up drains.

They say the public needs to be educated into throwing away things like baby and make-up remover wipes rather than trying to flush them away.

beethovengirl said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   If you put ANY kind of wipes or material that isn't toilet paper into the sewer, give your landlord your insurance info and let them settle or deny the claim.
If she flushed flushable wipes, I still think she should stand her ground.

Let the insurer stand her ground for her. Refusing to provide policy info to the landlord is asking to be personally sued.

Plus she may have a duty to promptly advise her insurer of potential claims, so they can gather evidence and prepare for defense.

Skipping 16 Messages...
uutxs said:   
What makes you think OP is a "foreign girl"?


Foreign is quite certain due to her English (uneducated native speakers make different kinds of mistakes). "Girl" is not certain, it is just based on how scared of the landlord she sounds.
In any case, it is someone who can be easily bullied and/or does not know their rights, and the landlord seems to be taking advantage of that.



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