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Trevor Stone's Journal
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Fair Rental Price 
31st-Oct-2013 12:02 am
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Please give me as unbiased opinion as possible to the following question:

Suppose, due to a natural disaster, that a rental property was inaccessible and uninhabitable for roughly a month. Assume that during that period, objects in the house remained secure. What percent of the rental price is it reasonable to charge for that period of time?
Comments 
31st-Oct-2013 03:21 pm (UTC)
I would say half. A good portion of the reason to have a place is to store stuff, and since the stuff was fine that part of the bill applies.Of course, as a rent-ee less would be better and I can see reasons for going lower..but I wouldn't say any higher would be justified.
31st-Oct-2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
I dunno, 20, 25%? Maybe 1/3 of normal rent?

I mean, the primary purpose of renting a place is to live in it, not to keep your stuff. If you can't use it for its primary purpose, you shouldn't be paying the primary portion of the rent.

I definitely feel that more than 50% is not reasonable.

But that's just my personal feeling. Legally, I think it's covered by Colorado's implied warrant of habitability, which the landlord is in breach of for various things like lack of running water or electricity, but which also includes "otherwise unfit for human habitation". Here's a relevant page: http://colofloodlegalrelief.org/resources/landlord-tenant/colorado-warranty-of-habitability/
1st-Nov-2013 01:55 am (UTC)
I'd say somewhere between a quarter rent and half rent. It's not completely useless, but it's nowhere near the same as properly having a place to live.
2nd-Nov-2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
My opinion strongly favors the lessee. It depends on the definition of inaccessible.

If the objects in the house are stored securely but inaccessible, this provides positive value (secure storage) and negative value (can't get your things). To me, this provides net negative value (which, though not the landlord's fault, can still be their problem).

If possessions are accessible, I'm not sure it makes sense to charge any more than a 'similar' self-storage facility would charge (the charge being based not on the volume of the entire rental property that's inaccessible, but on the volume of the renter's possessions that happen to be sitting there), because that is exactly the value the rental property is providing during that time.

Then again, I'm oversimplifying. If we extended my argument that the charge be reduced or nullified due to inaccessibility, that should also imply that the rental contract be extended by the duration the place was inaccessible, etc., which may be a term the renter would never have agreed to in the first place (e.g., because it obligates them to pay beyond the duration of their legal residency).

But generally, I think dr_tectonic makes a lot of sense.
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