Rentals in 94122>Question Details

Andrew Wilki…, Trulia Community Manager in San Francisco, CA

How should I deal with my landlord over a badly installed appliance?

Asked by Andrew Wilkinson, San Francisco, CA Fri Oct 21, 2011

I live in a rental apartment with a small kitchen which was installed by my landlord. Since I moved in, the small fridge/freezer has never been able keep items frozen (ice cream always melted).

I notified my landlord, who provided a replacement fridge of the same make and model as the old one. However, this new fridge has the same problem. I think it's because there is no space around the fridge to allow for circulation and refridgetation (per the manual's instructions), implying that the problem was the kitchen design, not the fridge.

I feel bad that he's already shelled out for a fridge that might not have been necessary, but at the same time, I want to be able to save money on food and keep frozen items frozen. Plus, I really miss ice cream.

How should I address this issue with my landlord?

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Andrew Wilkinson’s answer
Debroah: The bathroom is amazing and one of the reasons we chose the apartment in the first place; walk in shower with a tiled floor and clean, modern bathroom fixtures. I'm trying to get along my landlord, mainly because he is a good guy and is trying to do the right thing. But also because it is an in-law apartment, and so my landlord lives literally right above me, and I don't want a hostile/awkward living environment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
Buy a pint instead of a half gallon and eat it all in one serving:) just kidding. The best way is to put it in writing and follow it up with a call so they know how you feel. That would be a good time for you to convey that you feel bad that they have had to spend good money on a new fridge, but it's not working.

Here is a question for you. How long has it been since you got the new fridge? The reason I ask is because the seller should be able to bring it back to the store if you didn't wait too long to say anything.


2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
Andrew, Well, I don't know much about refrigerators (other than ideally they keep things cold); I am glad I stopped by. The visual of you downing a pint of ice cream is quite refreshing. You might invite your landlord over for some ice cream soup....maybe he will get the picture. Actually, I suspect the "life" of the fridge will be dramatically reduced because the motor will be running constantly to try to maintain the desired temperature.

Sounds to me like you are really trying to be a nice tenant...but you really do deserve a fridge with the rent. How's the bathroom?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
It definitely sounds like a ventilation issue to me. I'd ask him to do the math and and install one that works.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
That's funny, Andrew! I really enjoyed answering your question today. Since the fridge is so new, kindly ask the landlord to exchange it for one that works.

I'll see you Mitchell's :)


0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
humm... between upgrading the kitchen or giving a 30days notice .... I don't think the option is hard to choose :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
Tap: That's exactly what I thought of too! I don't think I've ever eaten a pint of Ben & Jerry's this fast in my life!

I've had the new fridge for about 3 weeks now, though I didn't install it myself until about a week ago.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
Tim: The fridge is enclosed in a box. Kitchen cabinet the the left, wall to the right and rear, wood platform underneath and and the kitchen counter on top.

Does this mean that the fridge, or the kitchen itself was incorrectly installed?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
Hi Andrew,

It is your right as a tenant to have working appliances.

If your landlord is unwilling to fix the underlying issue, which you think is the kitchen design, check with the San Francisco rent board.

It might be that you will have to fix the problem yourself and deduct it from the rent. But check first before doing any work.

Hope that helps!

kevin cullen
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
It is pretty unusual that a new fridge will not keep ice cream frozen. Put a thermometer in the freezer and see what it's doing. I would ask the landlord to have a service guy check it out since it is under warranty. Melting ice cream is often the result as a fridge is losing its cooling ability from a freon loss or as the compressor is not pumping as well as it should. Clogged or dirty condenser coils too, but a new fridge should not be clogged up yet. It does not take much space to keep them running as they should, its not enclosed in a box is it?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
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