A Renter's Nightmare.... Then it all comes back!
Updated: Mar 2
A recent Tenant's Apartment inspection (there were many hazards - see below) on the "apartment" they were renting turned into a major windfall for the tenant (our client)!
The inspection started out like most Tenant inspections:
Stairs that posed a tripping hazard (too steep, uneven, broken steps, and missing rails and balusters)
A window that children could fall out of (it was only 6 inches off the floor in a "bedroom")
Hot water temperatures of 137 degrees in the shower (112 degrees is the maximum for safety - and the tenant's child had a burnt hand from the hot water during the inspection)
Bedrooms (3 of them) with no proper egress windows (windows in bedrooms MUST meet minimal size and height requirements)
4 rooms with 2 electrical outlets
Missing GFCI (anti-shock) outlet protection in bath and kitchen areas.
a washer drain with an open sewer pipe and no trap or sewer gas vent pipe. (The sewer odors noted and sewer flies in the unit showed the potential hazard...)
7 outlets which were not properly wired
Active knob and tube wiring (a potential fire hazard)
The unit only had ONE egress door (There needs to be 2!)
Mold growths in two rooms and the bathroom ceilings
Then we learned the most important fact:
THE TENANT HAD CONTACTED THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT AND NO "OCCUPANCY PERMIT" EXISTED FOR THE UNIT!
We finished the inspection (63 separate defects and hazards in the unit and common areas that serve it) and issued the picture filled report to our client (the tenant) - and as always we suggested they share the report with their real estate attorney.
The attorney quickly filed to recover ALL RENT paid by the tenant (as well as "treble damages" (3 times the amount) - since the act of renting the unit was an act of fraud.
In the end - the tenant received a settlement of ALL rent paid (6 YEARS WORTH!) and moving expenses. (we are not allowed to tell you the amount our client was awarded - but think about how much 6 years of (top dollar) rent adds up to!!)
This is also a good lesson for any Landlord out there:
UNITS WITHOUT OCCUPANCY PERMITS ARE NOT RENTABLE!!
(Note: at our clients request, the Names, Location, and other details were omitted from this article. Our client also requested that no photos from the inspection be used in this article)
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