We're Flooded

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Woody's Workshop

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Aug 3, 2011
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Reed City, Michigan (Lower)
Last week the water softener people were here and said the drain was plugged.
They had someone come snake the drains.
The water softener ran during the night.
Our living room and dinning room is flood.
The carpet is so wet it's like walking in 1" of water.
This is the 3rd time it's happened, twice in the last 2 weeks.
This is crap. They haven't fixed the air conditioner from last year, need a compressor.
And as of the first of the year they raised the rent $40.
Any attorney's out there that care to offer advice on what we can do?
I have no money for an attorney, so any free advice is welcome.
Send a certified letter stating they have so many days to get the issues fixed or rent will be placed in escrow. It differs from state to state so look up what time frame is allowed in your state. Raising the rent is normal but not having issues fixed quickly is not.
Sorry to hear about that, Woody.

Probably too late, but do you have renter's insurance?
might want to look into pro bono attys

ima pooboy,too, and needed an atty a few years ago. took me a lot of footwork but was able to get one to represent me and resolve the issue

might want to check out the CMU law professions center,too. quite a few of the law schools will have programs for the students to do cases and get experience.
No insurance, too poor.
Insurance doesn't cover water damage of any kind anyways unless you have flood insurance.
I learned that back in the 80's when we had a flood here.

Must vary by policy. We don't have flood insurance - we live on a hill at 1400' elevation, so it would have to really flood. Six years ago our clothes washer flooded our house and our regular homeowners insurance covered the damage, $30,000+ worth!
Since you are renters, and the damage was clearly caused by systems under the owners' control, I can't imagine that they aren't liable for the damages. They in turn would need to go after the company that services the water softener, since it sounds from the description like incompetent work was done.

You say this is the third time this has happened... isn't this getting expensive for the owners of the building? Presumably after the first and second times, they had to do remediation work to fix damage to floors, carpeting, etc., prevent mold from growing, and so on. That ain't cheap and I can't imagine they want to keep doing it.

Is this an apartment building, or a single unit rental with absentee owners, or...?
5, two story buildings w/ 8 apartments in each.
We are on the ground floor.
It's a corporate owned thing.
The manager is part time, so is the maintenance guy.
The ER phone number is a answering service.
The manager has no authority to do anything...really.
Corp has to approve everything.
It usually takes a week to get an answer from corp.
We've been waiting 10 months now for the air conditioner to get fixed.
You could go the public humiliation route, and expose the corp using local news media. Bad press might bring some help your way.
Usually you can go to the county, they usually have a housing authority that will send a letter to the landlord and they may even call them to get s status.
I've been in real estate for 18 years. Document everything and send certified letters to the landlord.