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Pipe under the sink burst in the apartment causing flooding and damage to my property. What am I liable for?

Jersey City, NJ |

Whole floor is damaged and needs to be redone. Given time of 1 month for this. I am not being given a relocation option by landlord. They are thretening to take away my security deposit if I break lease and stay somewhere. They have aslo told that I need to pay rent for this period. I cannot live there. What am I liable for?

Attorney Answers 1


Given the situation as you have described it, the unit is uninhabitable. A landlord must provide a unit with running hot and cold water, as well as a cooking area in order for the unit to be considered habitable. Damaged pipes with damaged structural elements to the building (flooring) means that the home may be considered "condemned" or subject to closure. A city or state housing inspector can help.
You do not need to pay rent for the period that these conditions exist, and your landlord cannot deduct from your security deposit for this damage.

The only reason that you would be responsible for this damage would be if you had done something to cause the ruptured pipes.

I am attaching a link to the New Jersey Tenant Handbook, it has more information on this subject.

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The unit has running hot/cold water abd a kitchen and bath functioning. Only the living area tiles need to be completely redone as they have all got damaged.



Sorry i misunderstood you. He has not provided a unit to live.

William Douglas Bradbury

William Douglas Bradbury


Depending on the scope of the damage, the unit may still be uninhabitable. If it is not "uninhabitable" the landlord has an obligation to make the repairs in a "reasonable time" - meaning that if they unreasonably delay repairs you can sue for breach of the lease agreement. This type of issue is "fact specific" meaning that while I can offer you some general guidelines you will need to apply the standards to your facts and see what remedies you are entitled to. The Landlord Tenant guidebook I provided earlier has more details on these standards, but I believe that you will best be served by a local attorney or local legal aid or tenant's rights group that can give you a specific legal opinion.

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