Author Topic: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.  (Read 2689 times)

Free Spirit

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Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« on: July 26, 2017, 12:29:24 PM »
Not being a complainypants just want some information in this situation. We are renting a house that came with a washer/dryer in the house (the listing stated the washer and dryer was included). The lease states, "tenant to call landlord when any repairs and services are needed. If tenant calls for the repairs without first calling landlord, tenant will be responsible for the repair/service fee. When landlord receives a call about a repair or service needed it will be called in immediately and taken care of."

So, the washing machine has broken and they are flat out refusing to repair stating it was "theirs but we could use it if we needed" but that is not what the lease states. I'm not seeing the difference between this and if the stove had needed repairs.

Am I overreacting in thinking this should be the landlord's responsibility? Do they have the right to refuse any repairs? What would you do if you were in this situation, be it landlord or tenant
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sokoloff

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2017, 12:34:45 PM »
If the listing included it and the lease doesn't exclude it, I'd think it's on the landlord to repair/replace. You might find that's a lengthy process, during which your clothes aren't getting any cleaner.

When this happened to me, I told the landlord that I was happy to bring in my own washer (which was nicer anyway) and that I'd take it with me when I moved out and his only responsibility was to get his old, broken one out of the way of mine coming in. He was happy; I was happy. Might not work in your case, of course.

Free Spirit

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 12:39:49 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply! I was just kind of stunned at their flat out refusal since every other landlord has been happy to repair anything that breaks, washer and dryers included. I agree I think the best option is to just bring in our own and have them remove the old one.
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therethere

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2017, 12:42:55 PM »
Unless they specifically state in the lease that an appliance is excluded, the landlord is on the hook for repairs. Anything in sight in the unit during the showings that is not excluded specifically in the lease is included as part of the property you are renting. Your landlord is cheap.

Keep bugging him to fix it. Email or call  (or both to show you have been reporting it) on a regular basis until he fixes it. New washers aren't that expensive.
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Not2Late

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2017, 12:47:49 PM »
I am a former landlord and the standard Realtor lease in this area had an option for each appliance that said "As-Is". What this meant was that the appliance is included in the lease, but would not be repaired if it broke. What does your lease say specifically? I think that is going to determine the answer.

Free Spirit

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 12:58:59 PM »
The lease itself is pretty vague, it doesn't address any appliance specifically, only to say that if we call in a repair without notifying the landlord we will have to pay for the repair. It does mention that we are not to remove anything and before termination we are to leave ALL appliances in good, clean condition.
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YoungGranny

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 01:36:50 PM »
As a landlord I would fix it or replace it if the unit was advertised as having a washer. Now I wouldn't consider the washing machine to be an emergency repair so I might not fix it within 24 hours but I would definitely take a look at it and try to give you a reasonable estimate for when it could be repaired. I'd keep contacting him to see if you can reach an agreement.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 02:47:06 PM »
As a landlord, Craigslist and Habitat for Humanity are great places to find inexpensive used washers and dryers. In the last year, I've put in four, and the most expensive one was $120. Moving the broken one to the side, and putting in your own is probably the path of least resistance. However, as a tenant I'd be worried about what is going to happen when there is an urgent and expensive repair that needs to be done.

therethere

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2017, 03:07:37 PM »
Yeah unfortunately, as a tenant you have zero power to get things done other than being annoying or moving out. I send a monthly email to my landlord on an issue that needs repair and I am on month 11. It went from "this is the first we are hearing of it" to "we are getting quotes." Now they now just ignore my emails/calls completely but at least I have a paper trail. Unfortunately, you usually find out about crappy landlords after you move-in and it costs you more money to leave than to deal with it yourself.
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AlanStache

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2017, 03:10:00 PM »
I think this might be one of those cases where being right does not matter. 

I might put a little time into seeing if I could easily diagnose the problem to ball park a repair cost and tell this to the landlord.  If the problem can be fixed for 8$ in parts and you can do it yourself it might be worth doing that.  BUT if you mess up the landlord would probably be a dick about you breaking the washing machine. 

You could present it to landlord as "it will be an 8$ part to fix or here is a replacement on CL for 100$".  Doing this could also get you some brownie points if it got into court; ie you made a good faith effort and were trying to be reasonable. 

In the short term all you can really do is be annoying by asking for it to be fixed daily in as many forms as possible.  text/call/email/registered mail

I might also suggest when you move out you take pictures of EVERYTHING and very clearly understand your rights.  This landlord might try to get you for every cent then as well.
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Mr-FancyPants

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2017, 03:43:32 PM »
Since your lease has language in it regarding the maintenance of the washer and your lease also does not exclude the washer from its terms, I would suggest that since you have informed your landlord of the issue & as the issue is not being addressed, thus I believe that you have satisfied the requirements in terms of repairs.  You are now free to have the machine repaired, so that you can leave it in 'good condition' at the end of the lease. 

I might consider 1) hiring a repairman to repair the washer, 2) withholding that portion of rent that the repair to your landlord's property has cost you, due to their neglect.

That said, it's an aggressive strategy.  If you go down that route, I'd let them know your plan first & give them a date to repair the machine.  I'd also be reasonable in the repairs (i.e. no gold plated washers, but using a reputable repair service).

ixtap

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2017, 03:52:14 PM »
Where do you live? In one places you can withhold rent, in others you cannot.

I would:
-Make a written complaint (email is fine)
-Contact you local tenants rights group: they will best know what you can do and what works in your area.
-Contact BBB if a mega landlord (not as useful if this is their only property. In my case, the landlord just lied to the BBB, but I was in Texas, which basically has no tenant rights, even for a leaky roof, so it was worth a try. )

I would NOT install my own machine, as any future damage could then be blamed on me. I might ask the landlord to install a machine that I bought, but by the time I was willing to do this, things may have soured between me and landlord.

Free Spirit

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2017, 08:11:37 AM »
Thanks again for all of the replies. After some research I've come to the conclusion that the landlord is definitely on the hook for a repair/replace, especially since the original listing has the washer/dryer mentioned. Yesterday they said they weren't going to repair because it's not under warranty so they are just being cheap. We won't be replacing it ourselves due to the liability. So, today I'm writing them an email informing them that they would basically be under breach of contract if they refuse, we'll see how it goes.

It looks like it could be a costly repair so I kind of want to suggest they buy a used washer off craigslist, hopefully I can come across as helpful and not smug.
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NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2017, 09:40:03 AM »
In my rentals, I would fix/replace the appliance.  If it is there when you move in, you expect it to be working.

Lmoot

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2017, 10:57:34 AM »
 If it did not state "hook up" in the listing, and it just said washer/dryer, then the appliance should be included under landlord maintenance. Sometimes they will indicate that there is a laundry hook up, with machines available which do not fall under landlord responsibility, but may be used by the tenants, or replaced by the tenants.

I don't think it's that they are being cheap, so much as they just don't want to own up to the fact that they made a mistake. I do believe they probably rented it out fully not intending to be responsible for replacing of appliances, but now they know next time that they need to indicate that in the listing. It is not uncommon for appliances not to convey is part of the rent, but it absolutely needs to be indicated in the lease, particularly if the listing insinuates otherwise.

TheOldestYoungMan

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2017, 01:49:26 PM »
As a landlord I'd like to think that I'd replace it, but I also know that each incident is part of an overall narrative.  If a tenant has been a pain in the ass I get to the point where I just don't care anymore and will do only the minimum of my contractual obligations.

So depending on where you live, something like a washer isn't necessarily something you can use to deduct from rent/basis of abandonment.

In Texas, there's a very specific list of things you can make the landlord repair, and everything else is more of an "its in their best interest" or "good landlords will do it" sort of vein.  It's a very limited list, and doesn't include, for example, air conditioning.

The lease would have to specifically state that the landlord would "maintain a washing machine in good working order" or something similar.  Other states, YMMV.

Whatever you do, don't stop paying rent over this.  If you decide you have to move out over it fine, but make sure you fulfill your end of the contract, because there's very little the landlord can do that "lets you get out of" your obligations.

I sat in an eviction court all morning twice this summer and 100% of the evictions were granted.  Not one tenant was successful in arguing that they had cause to do whatever it is that they did.
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Free Spirit

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2017, 01:55:51 PM »
Update: The property manager responded and has called a few places about repairs. I think having a screenshot of the original listing stating the washer and dryer were included definitely helped. I'm going to make it standard practice to capture screenshots of any place I rent from now on. Thanks so much for the help, I wouldn't have had as much courage to push back without all of the smart insight from you all. :)
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Holyoak

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2017, 07:58:32 AM »
Good job Free Spirit, by not putting up with crap from your LL!...  Now I hope it's just not smoke, and they follow-through.  Good luck. 

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2017, 06:41:37 PM »
Good job Free Spirit, by not putting up with crap from your LL!...  Now I hope it's just not smoke, and they follow-through.  Good luck.

Great job!!

Livingthedream55

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2017, 02:03:53 PM »
Update: The property manager responded and has called a few places about repairs. I think having a screenshot of the original listing stating the washer and dryer were included definitely helped. I'm going to make it standard practice to capture screenshots of any place I rent from now on. Thanks so much for the help, I wouldn't have had as much courage to push back without all of the smart insight from you all. :)

Excellent!!



tralfamadorian

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2017, 08:23:42 PM »
Update: The property manager responded and has called a few places about repairs. I think having a screenshot of the original listing stating the washer and dryer were included definitely helped. I'm going to make it standard practice to capture screenshots of any place I rent from now on. Thanks so much for the help, I wouldn't have had as much courage to push back without all of the smart insight from you all. :)

Or a much stronger position, make sure it is explicitly included in the lease.  In my leases, which are based on the standard leases for my state, there is a list of appliances supplied by landlord and another for tenants, if any.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2017, 08:32:23 PM »
As a landlord on my lease, all the appliances are listed separately with a checkbox after it. There is a check box for the tenants responsibility and a checkbox for the landlord's responsibility. Both tenant and landlord agree on responsibility for appliances in the lease.

As a landlord, I don't want tenants to get rewarded for being hard on appliances. My appliances typically seem to last longer than my tenants. Not a big difference, but there is a clear difference.

ponyboy

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2017, 09:37:03 AM »
Ponyboy would have threatened to stop paying rent.  No way would he allow a washing machine in a unit to not be repaired at the LL's expense. 

ixtap

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Re: Landlord refuses to repair washing machine. Advice please.
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2017, 11:06:14 AM »
Ponyboy would have threatened to stop paying rent.  No way would he allow a washing machine in a unit to not be repaired at the LL's expense.

In Texas, Ponyboy would be evicted. You can't even withhold rent for something major like a leaky roof.