Washer broke and we think it's the motor. Landlord said it's old and it's on us to repair if we want but she wouldn't be surprised if the machine's time was just up and she wasn't going to replace it (nor ding us on our security deposit if we moved out and it was still broken). I don't agree that we should just deal with it. How would you, as a normal human who has rented places before, interpret the relevant section of the lease (inside) and take this up with her?
Landlady isn't local but overall, she's very responsive and we get along ok. I think she appreciates she can trust my husband and myself to keep the place maintained and do little fix-its efficiently (cleaning out traps, plumbers tape for minor leaks, occasionally clearing debris off the roof so no damage occurs).
However, I have no knowledge of machine repair. The landlady, when told of the issue, said the was expecting the machine to die soon because she bought it used and that the lease says the machine is as-is and doesn't have to be replaced or repaired. She said that we could elect to have it repaired at our own cost but that wouldn't make the machine ours but that otherwise, she wouldn't be doing anything and told us the nicest laundromats in town. I don't think I should have to pay for the repairperson without reimbursement (assuming the issue was not due to negligence) just to get the place back to where it was when we signed the lease.
Husband and I scoured the lease and we don't see what she is seeing at all. I emailed her asking for the specific section (still waiting on reply) but the only time the machine is listed is here: Tenant will, at his or her own expense, maintain the premise in good repair and in a clean and sanitary manner including all equipment, appliances... Not limited to ...(and it lists things like cleaning out the lint trap - nothing out of the norm)
. The only other time appliances are mentioned is in the check in/check out list and it says it's clean and functioning. I really think the issue is whether "maintain the premise in good repair" means we need to repair it or whether we're just responsible for normal upkeep (clearly I think the later). And before it's said, 3 of my dear friends are local lawyers but before we take that leap, I'd like the opinion of other folks - am I off base in my expectations? - and ideas/compromises that will help us avoid lawyers. (Money is an issue right now - husband and I can't just let her take out the broken one and buy a new one that we will then move with us. That is WAY out of budget.)
We're in Montana so I went to check the MT laws
and they aren't adding much more to my understanding. I found the sections below that pertain.:
70-24-303. Landlord to maintain premises ... (1) A landlord:
(e) shall maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord;
(3) A landlord and tenant of a one-, two-, or three-family residence may agree in writing that the tenant perform the landlord's duties specified in subsections (1)(f) and (1)(g) [1f and 1g aren't relevant to the washer] and specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alteration, and remodeling but only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.
70-24-321. Tenant to maintain dwelling unit. (1) A tenant shall:
(d) keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;
(e) use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, in the premises;