Staying in an apartment with water damage or flooding is not just unpleasant. It can also seriously impact your health. Water damage can lead to mildew and mold, which can affect your respiratory health and allergies. Chicago law, defined under the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO), and Illinois law, give tenants rights under these situations.
How Long Does My Landlord Have for Damage Repairs?
Flooding or water damage are timely issues — mold and unpleasant living conditions can happen in 24 hours, so a tenant may wish to resolve problems at once. A landlord may not be able to get a professional in right away or may face additional charges for rush service.
The first thing to realize is your landlord has to know about the problem first. It is important to alert your landlord or super as soon as water damage or a flood situation happens. If you contact them by phone, note the time and date of the call, as well as what was said. If you send a letter, send it by registered mail, so you have proof of delivery.
Once your landlord knows there is a problem, you must give them a reasonable time to fix the issue. How long is reasonable will depend on the nature of the problem. If the water leak or flooding makes your home uninhabitable, your landlord should take action right away. However, your landlord may have longer to fix a small amount of mildew or mold in the
What To Do If Your Landlord Is Not Fixing the Water Issue?
If your landlord does not respond or make necessary repairs and your apartment is not inhabitable or safe, you do have potential options:
- Break the lease: If the water damage or flooding makes your home uninhabitable, you may be able to move out and break the lease, finding a safer place to stay.
- Take care of the cleanup yourself: Another option if your landlord is too slow is to fix the problem yourself and send your landlord the bill. Or you can withhold some of your rent until the amount is paid off.
- Withhold a portion of your rent: It may be possible to continue withholding until the problem gets solved.
Keep in mind these options are only possible in severe cases where the landlord has not made an effort to make serious flooding or damage right. In addition, these steps can prompt legal action against you, so you may wish to contact a tenant advocate or legal expert first.
If you decide to take care of water damage yourself and you need prompt help, contact ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park. Our 24/7 service ensures fast and timely help as well as peace of mind. Our professional team are experts in water damage and flooding cleanup, so we can handle any issue, and we take care to clean up correctly the first time.