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Can I have my rent prorated after water damage?

Chicago, IL |

A pipe burst in my downstairs bedroom putting a hole in the wall and flooding my room, our downstairs living room, and ruining my bed and some electronics in my room. This happened yesterday while I was at work. I share the condo with 3 other roommates, one who has a room downstairs and 2 upstairs unaffected by the water damage. We had the pipes repaired last night and now we have people tearing up all the carpet and fixing the damaged dry wall, I was told it could take 2 weeks for the repairs. I want to know if I can ask to have my portion of the rent prorated as I am staying at my girlfriends place while this mess is being took care of. I did not have renters insurance. My portion 1/4 of the total rent is $680 a month. Thank you for any help.

Attorney Answers 3


You may ask. Negotiate as best you can and get the best deal IN WRITING

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Dear Tenant: As long as neither you nor your roommates had any responsibility for the pipes bursting you should be able to negotiate a rent abatement with your Landlord. You will need to document the value of the items destroyed and the fact that they were destroyed. The Landlord may have insurance to cover these amounts as well as the rent reduction.

As suggested, whatever arrangement you reach with the Landlord put it in writing signed or acknowledged by all of you.

Hope this helps. Good luck

This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in IL. Please visit for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to vote it up. Thank you.

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Read the lease, especially indemnification and casualty clauses. They way they work is this. If the casualty renders the place "untenantable" then you may be able to cancel the lease AND the lease may say that during periods of "untenantability" rent "abates". But it may not. There is also a provision that says the landlord is not liable for damages to you or your property from these kinds of things unless the landlord is actually negligent -- this is the indemnity clause. Renter's insurance usually will not help -- what it might pay for is "loss of use" ie having to move out, but does NOT necessarily pay the rent for the interim. So somebody has to look at the lease and see whether rent abates during the move-out or "untenantability" period.

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