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SilverRose

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
I never had problems with large appliances before, so I'm hoping someone here might have an answer:

There was minor leaking from the refrigerator and when it became extreme I brought it to the maintenance supervisor's attention.  That was at the end of August.  The way it's been during this period of time is needing to clean quite a lot of water out from under the vegetable bin every 2-3 days, otherwise it accumulates all over the floor.  Sometimes there's sheets of ice in it, too.  The refrigerator occasionally makes a lot of noise.
My first and main question:  can you take an approximate guess as to how this is affecting my electric bill?  I assume my bills are higher than they should be because the appliance is not working properly.

Second, when I brought this to his attention he said 'Oh, so now you want us to buy you a brand-new refrigerator?'  The catch:  I've lived in this apartment complex for 13 years (from a number of different landlords/managers/etc.) and NEVER asked any of them to buy or replace ANYTHING.  Isn't his attitude unreasonable-  especially since newer tenants are getting brand-new appliances? 

It doesn't seem to me that they're going to replace it.  I used all the food I could and even gave some away because I didn't want it to spoil if the refrigerator quits, but I'm also concerned about my electricity bills. 
I don't know what to do about this, as I can't risk getting evicted or large rent increase that I can't afford. 
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,776
Reply with quote  #2 
Water accumulating under the vegetable bin?  Is your drain clogged?  Look for a drain plug in the bottom of your fridge, or a drain line at the back of the fridge.  Clean it out.  That water is supposed to drain into the evaporator pan under the fridge where the heat of the motor dries it out.  If its not draining, its probably clogged.  If so, simple fix.  A cleaning issue.
AccidentalRental

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Posts: 111
Reply with quote  #3 
Your landlord is being unreasonable.  Ask them (politely) to send someone over to inspect it and perform the maintenance needed.  If the fridge is beyond its useful life then the tech will probably tell them so.

Remind them of the leaking water and that it needs to be removed every day otherwise it leaks all over the floor.  And you are afraid it will damage their property if you have to be away for a few days.

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RedLibrarian

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Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #4 
My refrigerator does this, though the sheets of ice show up underneath, where the freezer is. Some tube inside gets frozen water, everything backs up, and then more freezes. It really helps to vacuum the coils clean. No one tells you to do this unless you know someone handy. When we keep that clean, it doesn't back up as often. 

I have to be sure....does your lease cover the fridge? In California, landlords are not required to provide refrigerators, or even a working line that connects to a built-in ice maker. Some rentals, you show up and there's no fridge. Others, there's a fridge but a line in the lease that says it's as-is and they are not responsible if/when it breaks. 

If there is nothing in your lease about a fridge, then I'm not sure, as that's a gray area and beyond my knowledge. There's a case to be made that if they supplied a fridge in the first place, they're responsible for keeping it up. Hopefully it's in your lease somewhere. 

From the response of the maintenance man, at least he thinks they're responsible for it. But he doesn't sound reliable or reasonable.

If I were you, because I'd rather have a working fridge, I'd try a few DIY things, like vacuuming around the coils, doing a good defrost, any anything else that seems reasonable from people handier than I am.  

If the problem shows up again (and don't they always?), write a letter to the property manager indicating the exact dates of what you did and when. E.g., 

January 1: Found approximately 1/2 water water under vegetable bin; dried with towels.
January 3, 9am: Found approximately 1/2 water under vegetable again; dried with towels.
January 3, 11am: Informed maintenance manager in person of problem with refrigerator. He said, "Do you expect me to buy you a new one?" 

And ask for an inspection. 

Good luck!! You sound like a good tenant, sorry the supervisor guy is being difficult!

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SilverRose

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you for the input.

@RedLibrarian:  yes, the lease I received said landlords are required to keep appliances in working order.  However, it was around 5 months before they replaced it.  And I don't think they would have bothered then, either, except an inspector scheduled his annual inspection. 

Also, though, other tenants received new appliances not long after I reported the refrigerator issue to LL, whereas I had to wait for approximately five months. 
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