The ceiling of a first-floor apartment in Logan Heights partially collapsed Tuesday morning and residents are blaming the landlord.
Located on Julian Avenue, the apartment above began flooding due to a leak in the bathroom around 2:30 a.m.
“It just kept going and going and going and going, and it just flooded,” said the second-story resident, Margaret Koeninger.
She called a plumber around 3 a.m.
It wasn’t until 5:45 a.m. that the ceiling of the first-floor apartment collapsed.
“All of a sudden, it felt like an earthquake,” Koeninger said.
She rushed downstairs and saw her neighbors home.
“Their door is no longer a door,” Koeninger said. “The ceiling was all over his bed, all over the floor. Their bathroom was totally destroyed.”
Koeninger called her landlord shortly after and said he told her there was nothing he could do until the morning.
She said this wasn’t the first time a roof collapsed at this apartment complex.
Koeninger said she has complained about numerous problems with the building, including roaches, with little help from the landlord. She is considering suing.
“A landlord’s obligation is to put and keep it in a habitable condition, not try really hard. They have to do it,” said Attorney Christian Curry.
Curry said all of the damages that happened after the collapse are also the landlord’s responsibility, including moving costs and destruction to personal property.
“Anything in the lease that says the landlord is not responsible is void,” Curry said. “You can’t even give up those rights. That’s how important the right of warranty of habitability is.”
Implied warranty of habitability is a law that forces all landlords to keep their rented spaces livable at all times.
The three options residents now have if their landlord is uncooperative would be to stop paying rent, continue paying rent and seek money for damages, or invoke constructive eviction, Curry explained.
No major injuries were reported.