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My college student and 2 roommates just moved into a leased house.  Upon move in, several problems with the unit were identified, mostly appliance, lighting and plumbing issues.  It took the landlord 4 days to replace an inoperable refrigerator, so I would like to request meals per diem for those days.  The lease states: We will maintain the air conditioning and heating equipment; plumbing fixtures and facilities; electrical systems; and appliances provided by us.  And further:  Requests including no air conditioning, refrigerator not cooling, and lockouts are not considered emergencies.  

In my opinion, four days is too long to expect a new tenant to live without a refrigerator, especially when the landlord should have known the appliance was not working prior to occupancy (none of the appliances were connected because the floors were replaced).  

I am considering sending the following letter to request reimbursement.  Landlords, how would you respond to such a letter (I am not a landlord and have not been a tenant for 30 years)?

Dear Landlord:

The lease for the above referenced property commenced on August 5, 2017.  That lease requires the lessor to provide a Resident’s Certificate of Inspection with the keys.  The lease requires us to return this document to you within 24 hours of receipt.
 
Notice is hereby given that we were not provided a Resident’s Certificate of Inspection, and have not been provided one as of the date of this letter.  We formally request this document and will return the completed document to you within a reasonable time of receipt to document the damage and other problems with the leased premises.
 
Upon possession of the premises, several problems were noted via maintenance requests and phone calls to you and the maintenance supervisor.  The most urgent reported problem was an inoperable refrigerator.  The request for an operating refrigerator was not remedied until August 8, 2017, four days after possession of the premises.
 
The lessor’s inability to provide an operating refrigerator as required by the lease prevented the lessees from procuring and storing food in an appropriate manner and required the lessees to eat at restaurants at a considerable cost.  We are requesting per diem for the lessees at the rate of $29 per day per person for the days the refrigerator was inoperable.
 
Please send a check in the amount of $348.00 or credit our lease account.


($29/day is the state meal per diem rate for travelers)

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rated:
Just be prepared for the landlord to raise rent considerably after the initial lease period if you're being too unreasonable with requests/demands.

4 days is pretty quick to get a new fridge scheduled for delivery.

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The lessor’s inability to provide an operating refrigerator as required by the lease prevented the lessees from procuring and storing food in an appropriate manner and required the lessees to eat at restaurants at a considerable cost.
First of all, four days is pretty good to get a new fridge, as you have to order and schedule delivery. Second, no LL pays for per diem meals. You can buy bags of ice from the supermarket for a couple bucks and put that in the fridge. I've had many tenants fridge crap out and no one asks for meal reimbursement.

At most the reimbursement is for spoiled food. SPOILED FOOD. And not per day, just what was in the fridge at the start. But it sounds like the fridge was broken at move-in so no food should have been in there? Then no spoiled food!

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I agree 4 days is really fast. If you want your landlord to be an ass moving forward then sure send the letter, but be happy your in college and move on.

It took longer for Lowes to replace my fridge when the compressor went out in the first 6 months

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cherry3m said:   We are requesting per diem for the lessees at the rate of $29 per day per person

You have a duty to mitigate damages. You should have had a cooler. You could have rented a minifridge. You could have bought different foods at the store

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Agreeing that four days is well within reasonable. Seven days is reasonable.

Never heard of a landlord paying per diem for refrigerator. Like other posters suggested, throw a couple bags of ice in a cooler or live on any multitude of non-refrigerated food products.

Do people really operate this way in life?

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OP This is the first impression you, your child and the other 2 roommates will be making on the LL. Are you 100% certain your son/daughter and these two other kids will be model tenants? You may want to have the LL on your side should any future issues arise with the other two kids or anything else.

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Thanks all for the reality check.

Hindsight is 20-20 and we would have done something different, but we kept expecting a repair or replacement to come each day (based somewhat on back and forth from the landlord). It didn't help that we were 1 for 5 on operating appliances in the unit, plus other issues, so I'm probably a bit militant.

Sounds like it's best to just move forward.

Peace.

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Why was I thinking this was an Alt of Gauss?

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Aw come on! My question wasn't *that* bad.

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I agree with the other replies.

I don't know if the landlord should have known the fridge was broken. You find out when it is broke when you find out. If its unplugged to replace floors then its not on and you don't know its broken. It gets plugged in and its broken so you go get a replacement. I honestly can't say if my move out checklist includes making sure the fridge is actually in working order. Its also quite feasible the fridge broke during whatever work was going on if it was moved around and damaged in some way. Or it may have broke during the previous tenants stay and just gone unnoticed.


Did you have any actual costs due to the fridge being out? I mean reasonable costs. A broken fridge doesn't mean you eat out every meal at $$$ restaurants. As a landlord I might entertain a reasonable request for actual costs in such a situation.

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I'm glad I don't have you as the tenant. 

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ach1199 said:   I'm glad I don't have you as the tenant. 
Not sure why.  Rent will be paid in full, on time, every month.  And I have deep pockets in the event there is a breach or damage.

As (parent of) a tenant, however, I pay for the premises as contracted in the lease.  As a landlord, you must provide that premises as contracted.  Because the premises was not as contracted, I incurred extra expense and loss of enjoyment of use of the premises I paid for.

I questioned the reasonableness of requesting reimbursement for those extra costs and loss of use.

Were I the landlord, I like to think I would have remedied the problem in some way sooner than 4 days.  Put a temporary unit in the garage, offer a cooler, etc.  I guarantee if my household refrigerator stops working, it's fixed or replaced well before 4 days.

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I'm glad the other replies helped you come to your senses. I would just add one thing. Your college aged child is becoming an adult. If he/she asks you for advice about something, feel free to give it, but try to help him/her learn to do things for themselves. I understand you're paying his/her rent, but he/she is the tenant. It's up to him/her to deal with the landlord, not you. I would feel weird if mommy/daddy sent a letter like that to my landlord.

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ach1199 said:   I'm glad I don't have you as the tenant. 
  Hey, he was aware enough to ask before taking action.  Even the best tenants have thoughts like this occasionally, they just think it through before making it an issue.

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cherry3m said:   
 I guarantee if my household refrigerator stops working, it's fixed or replaced well before 4 days.

  Lowes has the best appliance stock and delivery in my area . But you have to purchase by noon or something to get next day delivery , and that's assuming it's in stock. my Lowes delivers on sat and sun, but a lot of places don't. 

So four days is actually very good. 

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cherry3m said:   
Not sure why.  Rent will be paid in full, on time, every month.  And I have deep pockets in the event there is a breach or damage.

As (parent of) a tenant, however, I pay for the premises as contracted in the lease.  As a landlord, you must provide that premises as contracted.  Because the premises was not as contracted, I incurred extra expense and loss of enjoyment of use of the premises I paid for.

I questioned the reasonableness of requesting reimbursement for those extra costs and loss of use.

Were I the landlord, I like to think I would have remedied the problem in some way sooner than 4 days.  Put a temporary unit in the garage, offer a cooler, etc.  I guarantee if my household refrigerator stops working, it's fixed or replaced well before 4 days.

  Chill out.

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Stubtify said:   
 
  Chill out.

That's all we were trying to do...  

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There's a good chance college kids in the first week aren't eating at home also

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Luniz97 said:   There's a good chance college kids in the first week aren't eating at home also
  even then ramen doesn't require fridge

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The actual problem: Their beer got warm.

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This forum is obviously biased towards landlords because there are so many of us. Agree that 4 days is a very good resolution time on a new fridge and $29 pp per diem for food is unreasonable, but the attitude of "make sure you don't offend the landlord" and defense of the landlord is off-putting. The landlord did not follow the lease in certifying operable appliances upon move-in. The landlord is off on the wrong foot with the tenant.

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if the landlord was avoiding you and just pushing back, I can see you go at it but they fixed the problem. Maybe he/she was on fatwallet looking for a fridge deal

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Chyvan said:   
cherry3m said:   We are requesting per diem for the lessees at the rate of $29 per day per person

You have a duty to mitigate damages. You should have had a cooler. You could have rented a minifridge. You could have bought different foods at the store

The landlord would have a duty to mitigate damages.  

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jerosen said:   The actual problem: Their beer got warm.
  No, then they would have rushed to the store for ice.

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stanolshefski said:   The landlord would have a duty to mitigate damages.  
  
Do you even understand the concept? The landlord isn't suffering any damages because of the broken refrigerator. He doesn't have any food in it.

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Landlord doesn't have to provide you crap. Ask nicely that it was an inconvenience and he might actually offer you something if he chooses.
I usually offer a $25 walmart/Target gift card if they ask nicely.

P.S This forum is highly biased towards tenants, and still no one is siding with you,  means you are totally out of line.

rated:
This thread is hilarious.

Per diem for food because fridge was out...LOL. That's a new one, and I've heard a lot.


A landlord is legally required to guarantee heat, water (hot), and waterproofing (roof not leaking).

Everything else is for comfort/convenience.

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cherry3m said:   Aw come on! My question wasn't *that* bad.
  Your question was very bad. The difference was in your responses after feedback

rated:
Chyvan said:   
stanolshefski said:   The landlord would have a duty to mitigate damages.  
  
Do you even understand the concept? The landlord isn't suffering any damages because of the broken refrigerator. He doesn't have any food in it.

  The landlord could easily provide a large cooler and dry ice or ice to ensure that his tenants have some way to keep food cool.

ETA It's common for electric utilities to provide dry ice during extended power outages.

rated:
Agreed that the land repaired/replaced the faulty appliance timely. However, so many LL on this forum would have the Sheriff serve an eviction notice for being 4 days late on rent. In this case, the LL breached the contract for 4 days. Where is the sympathy for the OP?

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Rcracer2017 said:   Agreed that the land repaired/replaced the faulty appliance timely. However, so many LL on this forum would have the Sheriff serve an eviction notice for being 4 days late on rent. In this case, the LL breached the contract for 4 days. Where is the sympathy for the OP?

You don't understand landlord/tenant law.

Tenants must pay as required. Landlords must provide the 3 things I listed above.

Most everything else is subject to interpretation. And in LL friendly states, judges don't care about anything if you haven't paid your rent as required.

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stanolshefski said:   Chyvan said:   
stanolshefski said:   The landlord would have a duty to mitigate damages.  
  
Do you even understand the concept? The landlord isn't suffering any damages because of the broken refrigerator. He doesn't have any food in it.

  The landlord could easily provide a large cooler and dry ice or ice to ensure that his tenants have some way to keep food cool.

ETA It's common for electric utilities to provide dry ice during extended power outages.



Mitigating damages isn't what you've described here.

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Rcracer2017 said:    However, so many LL on this forum would have the Sheriff serve an eviction notice for being 4 days late on rent. In this case, the LL breached the contract for 4 days. Where is the sympathy for the OP?
  But that's the same. That LL waited four days to serve notice.  

rated:
rascott said:   This thread is hilarious.

Per diem for food because fridge was out...LOL. That's a new one, and I've heard a lot.


A landlord is legally required to guarantee heat, water (hot), and waterproofing (roof not leaking).

Everything else is for comfort/convenience.

I would also imagine a landlord is required to provide housing which complies with local building code.

rated:
rascott said:   
You don't understand landlord/tenant law.

Tenants must pay as required. Landlords must provide the 3 things I listed above.

Most everything else is subject to interpretation. And in LL friendly states, judges don't care about anything if you haven't paid your rent as required.

  The landlord is required to provide everything agreed to in the lease.  Are you suggesting that if the landlord refused to provide an operating refrigerator that the tenant has no recourse?

So the question becomes, what is a reasonable timeframe for the tenant to hold the landlord in breach of their contractual obligations?  4 days?  7 days?  10 days?  30 days?  The lease does not say.

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cherry3m said:   rascott said:   
You don't understand landlord/tenant law.

Tenants must pay as required. Landlords must provide the 3 things I listed above.

Most everything else is subject to interpretation. And in LL friendly states, judges don't care about anything if you haven't paid your rent as required.

  The landlord is required to provide everything agreed to in the lease.  Are you suggesting that if the landlord refused to provide an operating refrigerator that the tenant has no recourse?

So the question becomes, what is a reasonable timeframe for the tenant to hold the landlord in breach of their contractual obligations?  4 days?  7 days?  10 days?  30 days?  The lease does not say.


Yes, and that becomes subjective (and up to a judge if it gets that far). But paying rent on time is not subjective. Tenant is in default 1 day after not paying....and LL can file for eviction. At least in my state. YMMV.

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Lemme think, Boxed cereal, fresh fruit, Beefaroni and other canned food, unrefrigerated microwave meals, etc. Plenty of stuff they could eat that doesn't need a fridge.

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Be polite, but confident in your requests. Having one small thing go with a landlord could end up being a bigger issue when it comes to getting the security deposit back.

Skipping 54 Messages...
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cherry3m said:   
 
We are still awaiting repair of the dishwasher, three weeks in.  

  red solo cups are disposable (recyclable) but i guess a FWF would reuse them

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