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What Should I Do If I Broke the Fridge in My Rental Apartment?

What should I do if I broke the fridge in my rental apartment?

Rental apartments and complexes have become the norm in all societies across the globe. These housing facilities provide tenants with opportunities to live in reasonably priced homesteads. It is the basic right of any tenant who is residing in the rental to have a secure, livable, and functioning housing situation. This tenant right comes under the state law’s warranty of habitability. The landowner or landlord is bound by the law to provide functioning living conditions in all of the rental properties. These include appliances like a stove and fridge. However, if a fridge is malfunctioning in a rental apartment, there are three distinct scenarios that can apply.

Unregulated Rental Apartments

Landlords who own rental apartments that do not have rent control covered by the government regulations have to provide all of the repair costs of the appliances that come with the apartment. Moreover, they are responsible for replacing the faulty appliance, should the need arise. Additionally, the replacement has to be the same or a better version of the previously used appliance.

Rent-Stabilized Rental Apartments

Similarly, the landlords of rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartments also have to provide funds for the repairs of the broken appliances. However, in the case of an appliance replacement in a rent-stabilized apartment, the landlord and tenant must agree upon one of the following conditions:

  • In case of a used (but a similar or upgraded) appliance, there is no rise in the current rent.
  • In case of a new appliance, there is a permanent increment in the rent.      

Getting Your Own New Fridge in a Rental Apartment

If the tenant wants to buy a new appliance, the tenant should obtain permission from the landlord. The landlord’s permission should be in a clear, written format; it should state approval for the tenant’s request to get a new appliance and to dispose of the older one. Otherwise, the tenant will be in clear violation of the landlord/tenant agreement; if that is the case, the landlord can take legal action against the tenant.

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