Apartment refrigerator broke-who pays for spoiled food?

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Posted 1/27/2014 by Buddysmom in NSBR Board


PeaNut 54,471
November 2002
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Posted: 1/27/2014 12:18:14 PM
My DD has an apartment at college. Her refrigerator broke and spoiled her food, about $30.00 in food-not a lot of money but it was for her.
They fixed it and said their was something clogged because the freezer was working but the refrigerator was not.
She asked them to reimburse her and that said "that's what renters insurance is for" and they refused.

Now it has broken again and some more food was spoiled.

Who is responsible for the food, the landlord or tenant? This is a large apartment complex and the apartment supplied the refrigerator.

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PeaNut 52,817
October 2002
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Loc: Oregon

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:21:27 PM
I'd go with renter's insurance too, but there's no point in making a claim for that amount.

Unless it's due the landlord's negligence, landlords are not usually responsible for damage to a renter's personal property.

There was a problem, she reported it, they fixed it. I don't think they are at fault here.

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PeaNut 265,707
June 2006
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Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:22:44 PM
What caused the refrigerator to break? Was there negligence on the landlord's part?

If there was not negligence that you can actively prove, then no, the landlord is not responsible for it. It's personal property, and that really is what renter's insurance is for (though probably not at a value that small).

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 11,642
February 2001
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:23:11 PM
Not sure if landlord is really liable, but it would not be smart to put in a claim for that small amount for her renters insurance, I'm sure the deductible is much higher than that.


PeaNut 191,815
February 2005
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Loc: Moorpark, CA

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:24:01 PM
She does or does not have renter's insurance? I'm not sure but I would think that it would be covered by insurance if she does and her loss if she does not.


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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 198,401
March 2005
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Loc: Wernersville, PA

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:25:35 PM
Um, sorry, but that is exactly what renter's insurance is for.

It is up to your daughter to replace the food, not the landlord.

What I would request though is a new fridge, because this one clearly is not working. Or, if it is a dorm sized fridge, I would be buying my own and taking it with me when I leave. My mom got a nice one at Lowe's for about $ 150. Nice sized freezer and everything.

Just saw that it is an apartment, so I am guessing a regular sized fridge. Legally, I think the spoiled food would still fall under renter's insurance, (and since this type of insurance is not that costly, I would have no problem putting in a claim for spoiled food, especially if it happened twice), but I think your dd needs to talk with the landlord and state this cannot keep happening. She needs a working fridge. What does it say about the fridge in her lease?

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 220,508
August 2005
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Loc: IL

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:36:16 PM
That would fall under renter's insurance. However, your deductible is probably higher than that and you really don't want to make small claims like that. That's how you get dropped or your insurance rates go up.

I would also have your DD talk to the management company about replacing the fridge or come to some kind of agreement that if it happens again they replace the food. Not sure you'd have much luck with that, but you could try.

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PeaNut 15,872
May 2001
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Loc: USA

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:38:39 PM
I live in an apartment and agree--renters insurance.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
August 2006
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Posted: 1/27/2014 12:39:31 PM
Renters insurance, that's what its for.
Did you purchase insurance? Had I not the first time, I sure would have after that.

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PeaNut 78,429
March 2003
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Loc: Mountain High Pea

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:44:46 PM
I would ask for a new fridge or a guarantee for next time in writing that she is reimbursed for anymore food loss if it is the fault of the fridge.

That really sucks for her though.


PeaNut 101,638
August 2003
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Loc: New Hampshire

Posted: 1/27/2014 12:46:40 PM
It's up the landlord to provide a working fridge, spoiled food though falls under renters insurance.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
January 2002
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Posted: 1/27/2014 1:12:08 PM
After the first time, I wouldn't ask a landlord to cover that nor would I submit a claim to renter's insurance for that.

I'd just deal with it. I mean, really, a long power outage could leave you in the same predicament, kwim? Sometimes smaller things happen that kind of suck. This, for me, would just be one those of things.

Now, you've stated that it is broken yet again, after being repaired. At this point I would likely tell the landlord that if the 2nd repair doesn't do the job that I felt a replacement was due. (Of the refrigerator, not so much the food.)

Because if your rent includes a working fridge, then you should have one. And if it is regularly breaking, then she's paying for a fridge that she doesn't really have.

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