We have a leak in our apartment on 3rd floor which happened because someone on 5th floor left their shower on and slept through it in their washroom.

This started almost a week ago and now the apartment maintenance has 3 big blowers installed in our apartment since last Monday which produced a lot of noise and one of the blowers is huge which produces heat as well besides the noise.

Temperature outside the apartment can be around 60 degrees but it reaches 93 Fahrenheit inside our apartment making it impossible to live in comfortably.

Apartment authorities did not provide an alternative housing like a hotel. Moreover they said it make take 2 days or max 3 days. But today is 4th day of drying process and we are still forced to go though this. Due to this reason we aren't able to cook at home, use our living room and one bedroom, have trouble working and sleeping. Got headaches.

Should I file a small claim lawsuit with help of a lawyer?

Location: California, USA


1 Answer 1


Should I file a small claim lawsuit with help of a lawyer?

You did not specify your jurisdiction, but many jurisdictions in the US do not allow parties to be represented by a lawyer in Small Claims Court. This constrains the assistance you can get from some lawyer.

Something to bear in mind is the difficulty of quantifying the award to which you would be entitled. Had you and the landlord agreed on reimbursing you hotel/motel expenses or on prorating the rent, quantification would be straight-forward for court purposes. Otherwise, the statutory law or case law of your [unspecified] jurisdiction might provide some guidance in this regard.

Since you are pondering whether to commence court proceedings, make sure that your interactions with the landlord are in writing. This and other visual evidence will streamline, so to speak, your burden of proof.

  • Thank you. That was very helpful. I live in California.
    – Uthman
    Jul 2, 2021 at 18:03
  • 2
    @Usman "I live in California". In that case, you might want to acquaint yourself with CA precedents regarding landlord's breach of the implied warranty of habitability. For instance, the citations in the paragraph that starts with "[A] warranty of habitability" in the Peviani matter are very likely to guide you on what arguments to present in Small Claims and perhaps what relief would be reasonable based on the particulars of your case. Jul 2, 2021 at 20:15

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