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Disputing the Rent Due Because of Personal Property Damage

If substandard conditions in your apartment result in damage to your personal property, you can ask that the landlord compensate you for the losses. Your claim is that the landlord owes you money, or you are entitled to a reduction in rent, due to lack of repairs that subsequently lead to the damage. For example, let's say there's a leak in the ceiling, and dripping water has ruined your kitchen table or a rug. Or perhaps a flood has made your sofa unusable. Frequently, law suits or insurance claims are necessary to obtain compensation in these instances. Court action can be expensive and may not be worthwhile unless the cost to fix or replace your possessions is significant. However, if you're fighting with the landlord over rent due or needed repairs, these issues can be raised as a defense and counterclaim to the landlord's demands for rent. Make sure that the defective condition and the affected property are listed in your papers, along with the cost of refurbishing or replacing the items.

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