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Landlord Demands Tenant Pay Over $8K In Medical Bills After Their Kid Jumps Into A Running Dryer

Photo: Evgeny Atamanenko, evrymmnt / Shutterstock 
dryer, laundry room, little boy, landlord, tenant

A tenant has found himself in a predicament after his landlord is demanding additional fees from him that he is technically not responsible for. If the man fails to pay his landlord the extra money, he faces a higher monthly rent and possible eviction.

Now, the man is seeking advice from others as to how he should handle the situation moving forward without having to cough up extra money that he shouldn’t have to in the first place.

The landlord insists his tenant pay for their son’s medical bills after the child jumped into the dryer while the tenant was doing laundry.

Sharing his story to the subreddit, r/AmITheA-–hole, the man revealed that he is currently renting out a basement suite in a family home. The suite is located next to a laundry room.

“One day a week, the family will unlock the door in the laundry room that leads to my suite, and thus I have access to the room for the day,” the man wrote. He uses this day to catch up on all of his dirty laundry. “I put my clothes in the machine and shut the door to the suite so that I don't hear all that ruckus,” he added.

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There are stairs that lead from the laundry room to the rest of the house so that the family who owns the house can also access the laundry room as well. One day, while the man was doing his laundry and placed his clothes in the dryer, he heard screams through his door. “The next thing I know, an ambulance has arrived,” he wrote.

Apparently, the landlord’s four-year-old son had somehow climbed into the dryer while it was running and became trapped inside. According to the man, the dryer is “faulty” and does not shut off automatically when the door is opened.

man says landlord is demanding he pay medical bills of child who jumped into the running dryerPhoto: Yuganov Konstantih / Shutterstock

“So the kid was tumbling in there while the door was open and all because the machine didn't shut itself off when the door was opened,” he shared.

Thankfully, after a trip to the hospital, the child turned out to be fine. Although, he was not released without a hefty medical bill. A medical bill that the man’s landlords now expect him to cover since it was his laundry that their son climbed into.

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Since the family does not have medical insurance, the ambulance and hospital bills totaled up to $8,477.34.

However, the man argues that he is not responsible for paying the medical bills, and for valid reasons. “I am not in charge of watching their kid. I am paying an insane amount of rent to begin with, I didn't agree to babysit anyone in addition,” he wrote. “It is their laundry machine that is apparently faulty.”

Still, the man’s landlords are insisting that he cover their son’s medical expenses. Now, he is turning to wherever he can for advice on handling the situation. “I went to a forum that was orientated towards landlords to see if I was really responsible,” the man revealed.

He was asked if the family he lived with ever raised his rent, and he admitted that they had not after he had lived in their space for nearly a year-and-a-half.

“I pay my rent on time every time and don't cause a problem,” the man added. “I assume them not collecting a little extra is still better than the risk of trying to find a tenant that isn't trouble etc, at least that was their thinking.”

The man also claims that his landlords told him that he should “be grateful” that they were not raising his rent and instead asking him to cover their son’s medical bills, as they believe that it is “morally fair.”

Most people argued that the tenant was not responsible for paying his landlord’s son’s medical expenses since it was not his job to look after the child in the first place.

“Your landlords and the people at the forum are completely wrong. It was not your responsibility to watch the child. They are the ones who were negligent by not watching their four-year-old child and having a defective dryer,” one Redditor commented. “Not your kid. Not your dryer. It could've been anyone's laundry really, their kid has access to this machine seven days a week,” another user wrote.

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Others encouraged the man to seek the help of a lawyer. “You need legal advice, now. Because you aren't responsible, but they are trying to fleece you,” one user pointed out. “And they should contact their homeowner's insurance. It can cover this s--- sometimes.”

man says landlord is demanding he pay medical bills of child who jumped into the running dryerPhoto: Freedomz / Shutterstock

Since the man is just a tenant in the family’s home, it is not up to him to keep up with household maintenance and ensure that all appliances are up to date.

Although landlord-tenant laws vary by state and every rental agreement will have different rules to abide by, if an appliance is broken or faulty, it is usually up to the landlord, not the tenant, to ensure that they are repaired.

In fact, in some states, failure to maintain home appliances in a written agreement is a breach of warranty of habitability, and the tenant is able to move out without penalty.

Tenants are also certainly not responsible for looking after their landlords’ children and making sure they stay out of trouble. That would be the job of the children’s parents.

The man’s landlord’s son could have gotten into the dryer even if he was not doing his laundry, and could have been just as injured. Either way, the accident was 100% not his fault, and it is up to the parents to pay for their children’s medical bills. A tenant is a tenant, not a free babysitter.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.