Under certain circumstances a tenant may be entitled to a reduction of rent by the diminished value of the premises due to need for repairs. Such a claim is best brought with the advice and guidance of an attorney. Generally, a landlord will not be required to compensate a tenant for the temporary loss of a portion of the premises. This should not prevent the tenant from approaching the landlord about the loss and inconvenience experience. The tenant should try to negotiate compensation for the loss. While the law may not require the landlord to compensate you, the apartment complex is a business and you are its customer. A well run apartment complex would want to maintain good tenant relations and ensure that you will want to remain there when your current lease expires. It is usually more successful for a tenant to negotiate for a future rent credit, then to ask the landlord to pay cash out of pocket. Use common sense and reasonableness when approaching the landlord. For example, was the room involved the kitchen or the only bathroom, both of which are essential for health or safety reasons? Or, was it a spare bedroom or storage area that is not significantly used each day? The landlord is responsible for making repairs within a reasonable time after being notified of the need for the repair. If the landlord undertook and completed roof repairs within a reasonable time after notice, the landlord has fulfilled his repair responsibilities and compensation to the tenant for the loss of the room is unlikely. However, if the landlord unreasonably delayed in undertaking the repairs and the tenant suffered a loss due to the delay, the tenant may have a claim against the landlord for damages to personal property caused by the delay in repair.
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This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified landlord tenant lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local landlord tenant attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.