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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2

    Question Brown Water and Broken Refrigerator

    My question involves landlord-tenant law for an apartment in the State of Colorado: Should the rental company be liable to replace our lost goods from the refrigerator not working, and are they liable for our water being unsafe? This was the condition of our apartment before we moved in.

    Our water has been brown since we moved in, though we didn't notice it the first couple days before submitting our "move-in inspection." About one week later we called the rental agency and informed them of our problems, which in addition to unclean water (forcing us to purchase tons of bottled water jugs, and shower in the dirty water), are as follows:

    Refrigerator was shut during kitchen renovations before we moved into the unit, and the electrical breaker was shut off for the kitchen as well. Black mold was already present in the freezer, since the door had been shut for so long without power. Not realizing the breaker was switched off, we had no place for our perishables and we were forced to dispose of them. Close to $100! If that wasn't bad enough, a couple days later we switched on the breaker and found that it restored power to the refrigerator. The refrigerator said give it 24 hours to stabilize temperature, so we waited and then it felt cold so we re-stocked our refrigerator. Later we found lots of moisture in the refrigerator and realized it wasn't reaching safe cool temperatures. This resulted in more loss of produce!

    The lease we signed is "Colorado Apartment Association - Apartment Lease Contract" which is the standard Equal Housing Opportunity lease for the state of Colorado. No addendum included mentions anything else about maintenance and repair.

    Should we hold the rental company liable for our loss of goods? Unclean water? Bottled water expenses? It's been 2 1/2 weeks and we have already paid for water and electricity (both of which have not worked properly since we moved in).

    Thanks in advance! I appreciate your help so much!

    -Chad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,026

    Default Re: Brown Water and Broken Refrigerator

    "Should we hold the rental company liable for our loss of goods? Unclean water? Bottled water expenses?"

    Why? You yourself said you didn't notice the brown water first couple of days you resided there.

    However, if you wish to try this, simply provide them with the receipts for the bottled water plus the produce you lost and see what they say.

    As for the "perishables" you lost...again, provide them with the receipts for what you lost and see what they say.

    Avoid the "black mold" claim as you have no real evidence this was the so called deadly "black mold".

    Gail

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Brown Water and Broken Refrigerator

    If the apartment unit isn't clean when you move in, you should immediately talk to your landlord. Apparently you were able to clean and use the freezer, so it's not clear that that's an issue.

    When your appliances don't work, you should immediately contact your landlord and report the problem. You haven't indicated when you reported a problem with your refrigerator to the landlord, or what the landlord's response was to that report. Obviously they won't know that there's a problem until you inform them.

    You talk about the water being brown, but you've given us no indication about why it's brown. If it's the same color out of every faucet in the unit, perhaps the problem doesn't originate in the unit. Have you reported the problem to the landlord and, if so, what was the landlord's response? Have you tested the water for safety?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Brown Water and Broken Refrigerator

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If the apartment unit isn't clean when you move in, you should immediately talk to your landlord. Apparently you were able to clean and use the freezer, so it's not clear that that's an issue.

    When your appliances don't work, you should immediately contact your landlord and report the problem. You haven't indicated when you reported a problem with your refrigerator to the landlord, or what the landlord's response was to that report. Obviously they won't know that there's a problem until you inform them.

    You talk about the water being brown, but you've given us no indication about why it's brown. If it's the same color out of every faucet in the unit, perhaps the problem doesn't originate in the unit. Have you reported the problem to the landlord and, if so, what was the landlord's response? Have you tested the water for safety?
    We didn't start using the freezer until we realized that the refrigerator wasn't working. Haven't cleaned it yet... (not working anymore anyway).

    The previous tenant had problems with the brown water as well (we spoke to our neighbor about this).

    We have definitely informed them of our refrigerator problems. It's been just a week now since we let them know, they arranged a repair guy and said they should come same day. That was a week ago. I have informed the landlord of all our problems via email, and some phone calls.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Have you reported the problem to the landlord and, if so, what was the landlord's response? Have you tested the water for safety?
    We informed them of our water situation, but no -- we haven't tested it for safety. I feel though, that any brown water, is not considered safe for drinking.

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