My building's bed-wetting problem
January 2, 2009 9:42 AM Subscribe
I returned home from a week-long vacation to discover a hole in the ceiling of my apartment and water dripping onto my futon. Should I ask my landlord to pay to replace my damaged furniture? Or, since I don’t have renter’s insurance, am I just out of luck?
posted by Metroid Baby to home & garden (12 answers total)
The radiator in the apartment above mine had a crack in it, and had probably been dripping water for quite some time. As a result, part of the ceiling in the corner of my apartment collapsed – an area about twelve by thirty inches, more or less. It’s not a complete see-through-to-the-upstairs-neighbors hole, but it’s definitely a hole.
I am not sure when this happened, only that it happened while I was on vacation. I don’t recall any evidence of water damage in that area of the ceiling before I left.
Maintenance has fixed the radiator and cleaned up nearly all of the debris, for which I am grateful, and they will be patching the hole up within the next couple of days after everything’s dried out.
Not a lot was damaged, but about a foot of my futon mattress (a good one, with springs) got pretty wet, in addition to an electric blanket. A couple of other blankets got a tiny bit of water on them, but they’re washable/inexpensive, so I’m not too worried about those.
Friends and family have suggested I write to my management company detailing what was damaged and asking for reimbursement. I’ve taken some pictures in case I follow through with this. It’s probably a couple hundred dollars – I would research this more and have a concrete and reasonable estimate.
Of course, I’ve been one of those “durpa durpa who needs renter’s insurance? Holes in the ceiling don’t happen to ME!” types, so I wouldn’t be surprised if their response was “sorry chickie, that’s what renter’s insurance is for, we can’t do anything.” However, the damage to my futon and blanket was a direct result of a building maintenance issue, so I’m thinking it’s not unreasonable to ask.
Or is it?
And do I need a lawyer for this? I’ve never needed legal help before.
I live in Chicago; I like my apartment and management a lot and am likely to renew my lease, so I don’t want to strain relations. If my stuff doesn’t get replaced, it’s not the end of the world, but it would be nice.
I’d appreciate any advice you might have. Thanks as always!