DC Rental laws - Should we pay rent during emergency repairs?
July 29, 2013 6:46 AM Subscribe
We're living in an apartment in Washington DC. There was a leak in the building's water system that caused damage to several units in the building including ours. It took about a month to get it all fixed - drying everything out, replacing the drywall, tearing out and replacing the wood floors. Its all done now. It was a big mess for a while, with fans and dehumidifiers and torn up floors and walls. We thought about moving out but decided it would be more of a hassle than it was worth so just didn't use the kitchen while this was going on. The building's insurance paid for the repairs and the landlord has been very responsive and done what he could to get it done quickly. We agreed that we wouldn't pay rent until all this was settled. The landlord proposes to pro-rate the rent so that we don't pay anything for the days that the kitchen was unusable and we had to put up with the construction. I've tried to figure out what DC rental law says about this ("OS expects to have a complete, authoritative version of Title 14 available for viewing by mid-October 2009") but can't find anything definitive. My question: Does pro-rated rent abatement seem like a legally and ethically reasonable approach?