My question is if the liability of a home warranty company extends
beyond the home owner to the tenant/renter of the covered home.
The warranty is in the name of the home owner. A/C stopped working in
the covered home. The temerature in the home reaches 90+ degrees
without the A/C working, making it uninhabitable. As a result,
tenant/renter was displaced and rented a hotel room. State law
provides recoverery of the cost of suitable housing at a rate of not
more than 25% above the periodic rate. The daily rate is $30, so
tenant's maximum allowance is $37.50 per day.
Home owner has made attempts by way of the warranty company to resolve
the issue, and so cannot be viewed as being neglegent. If it can
successfully be argued that the warranty company acted with neglegence,
does the tenant have a cause of action against the warranty company
Well, what does the warranty say? Certainly, when I had a home warranty as a
new homeowner taking over a house with some ancient appliances, there was no
clause covering habitability loss, even for me. It was all about replacing the
appliances (and only with ones they'd supply, to boot.)
At any rate, this is a separate issue from what a landlord's obligation is
concerning an uninhabitable apartment. The renter's lease, if any, and local
laws would cover that.
But look at the warranty if you're the homeowner/landlord. If you're the
tenant, look at your lease and contact your local renter's rights organization.
The company has a contract with the landlord, the tenant has no contract
with the company, and the company has no obligation to the tenant.
The tenant's complaint is with the landlord for failing to fix the A/C,
the tenant doesn't care who is doing the work, only that it gets done.
The landlord's legal obligation is to have the problem fixed, not to
have it fixed by a particular company.
The tenant claims against the landlord, whose obligation is apparently
limited by law. Then the landlord can try to collect from the home
warranty company if its performance is in breach of the contract.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, I'm not in your state (not a chance if
you're having 90-degree weather!), and I haven't read your state laws or
your home warranty contract.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
Like Mr. Putnam says, it's the landlords responsibility to get the AC
fixed, or provide a suitable alternative, home warrantee or not. I'm a
landlord, and if a tenant calls me with a complaint along those lines,
I do my best to fix it quickly. It's 100+ degrees today! I don't see
an issue with such a warrantee in regards to_who_ lives in the house ,
but rather_which_ company does the work authorized by the home
warrantee provider. G'luck. Tom
The warranty company's liaility is spelled out in thewarrantycontrat. Ther
is o "prvity" between the warranty company and the tenant. Probably o
liability by the warranty company o the tenant.
I expect that the warranty contract has aclause or clauses that limit
liability to oly the owner, and provides no overage whatever if the house is
not owner occupied.
What is the tenant'sproblem. () degrees isnt that ot. Buy a fan for two
for the short term duration until the cgeap assed owner gets a contractor
in to fix the AC.
Fifty years ago in the same location it got just as hot. Folks survived;
"uninhabitable" my ass.
I seriously doubt any warrany would cover incedantal damages to the property
or other related damages (rental fees for replacement apartment) beyond the
cost of repairing or replacing the appliance or system covered. That
disclaimer is SOP on just about every warranty I ever saw. Even my auto
insurance wouldn't cover a replacement rental car unless I specifically
bought that coverage.
The AC breaks so you have to put them up elsewhere? What did people do in
the tens of thousands of years before Ac was invented or very expensive? I
recall living in a hot house in the 50's. No nanny government took us to an
air conditioned hotel.
That said, I doubt the warranty company has any liability unless specified
in the contract. Read the fine print.
Thanks to those that provided a legitimate response to my post.
For those of you that think people can live without A/C in extremely
hot areas, what do you think about living in a house in the coldest
climates with no heat?
And sorry, but people did not live in the area where the house is 50
years ago in homes with no cooling. No A/C, certainly, but they had
evap cooling at the very least.
This brings up a different discussion altogether, but there can be no
doubt that development in certain areas is possible and only happens as
a result of modern technology. People in those areas then depend on
that technology to survive; e.g. heating or cooling of buildings and
As far as kinds of house and extent of building, you're right. Are you on the
top floor or something of a multistory ? (now we see you're the tenant...).
But, having grown up in Texas in the '50s and '60s, I can attest that many, many
people have lived without air conditioning OR evaporative cooling in the recent
past. It's all about expectations. Open your windows, get a fan, sit outside
in the shade, go see afternoon movies if you have to.
Banty of Burkburnett
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