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Can my landlord charge me for the failure of the pool pump without any proof that it is my fault?

Phoenix, AZ |

My pool pump went out and the landlord is saying that it was due to my negligence. She has not done an inspection and is using my description of what happened to claim negligence on my part. I followed the letter of the lease contract, contacting her immediately, and getting quote for repair per landlord's request.

Our contract states that repairs in excess of 50.00 are responsibility of landlord as long as resident acts in timely manner to inform landlord of problem. The repair is 500.00.

Also, contract states that "resident is responsible for pool pump failure due to lack of water level." Another portion of the contract states, "pool water level must be maintained above skimmer intake at all times." The water was never low.

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Attorney answers 1


It sounds like you have a good "case". Certainly, on its face, it appears that the Landlord is not honoring your agreement, and it looks like you'll need an attorney to get involved to get this solved. HOWEVER, may I suggest the following. The person who gave you the bid must also have a sense of "why" this occurred. Both you and your landlord will each spend money on attorneys battling this out, and, at $500, it is fair to say that at a minimum, together you will spend $500 on attorneys and the pump will still need to be fixed! So, ask the person what they think. If the Landlord doesn't like the answer, ask the Landlord to send his/her own person for an opinion. If there's then a conflict, perhaps a third and deciding party? My point is that while you may have a slam dunk case, you may end up spending more just to prove you're right if you have lawyers involved.

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