How long can apartment go without fixing my fridge?

So I’m having trouble finding the SC code on this. I know with an AC/heater it’s considered cosmetic or something so they have 14 days to fix it. But the fridge is a necessity, they said they’d replace my broken fridge but the new one won’t be in till Wednesday. Today is Saturday, are they legally allowed to leave me without a fridge for several days? I was under the impression necessity items must be fix in 24 hours.

A refrigerator isn’t a necessity. You can get plenty of food that don’t require refrigeration, you can go to the store and buy what you need for the day, you can eat at a restaurant.
On the other hand, with out working HVAC system, you can die of heat stroke or freeze to death.
It’s not that without a refrigerator you’re going to starve in short order.

It’s a matter of local law. It may vary from state to state and even city to city within a state.

Not knowing where you live, no one can give you a factual answer.

I said I couldn’t find it in the SC code, I’m from south Carolina generally I look these things up and find them in the law book but was unable to.

So a fridge isn’t a necessity in SC? Can someone confirm please.

Places I’ve rented in California, it was usually BYOFridge. I’ve never had a landlord fix one for me.

Fridge was provided.

From here:
I see this:
maintain in reasonably good and safe working order and condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him. Appliances present in the dwelling unit are presumed to be supplied by the landlord unless specifically excluded by the rental agreement.** No appliances or facilities necessary to the provision of essential services may be excluded**

But essential services is defined as “sanitary plumbing or sewer services; electricity; gas, where it is used for heat, hot water, or cooking; running water, and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection”

So, by law, that have to provide heat, hot water, gas, electricity etc. But nothing about a refrigerator.

Check your lease agreement, it’s probably stated there or contact your local housing authority.

Also, as much as it sucks, when a major appliance breaks on a Saturday and Monday/Tuesday are a holiday, you’re going to have to wait until Wednesday. Gas, electricity, plumbing…theyr’e going to be (very expensive) repair people out on the road for that kinda stuff. Day or night, holiday or otherwise. It’s going to be much harder to get someone to deliver a fridge.

ETA, that link will attempt to download a .doc file. It comes from a .gov website, I didn’t have any issues with it. It also jived with everything else I read.

If you have to make do for a couple of days, fridges are obviously pretty well insulated, so if you get ice from the store and put it in there, it will stay reasonably cold.

It may be worth contacting the landlord and making the attempt to borrow an ice chest or two. You could maybe save some of your perishables that way?

Could you place the frozen foods you don’t plan to eat right away outside? (I don’t know where you live.)

Around here, that depends on whether you’re in an apartment, or a free-standing house. A fridge and stove are provided at my apartment complex (we don’t have W/D hookups in the units) and when the hinges on my refrigerator were corroded enough that I thought they might break, they replaced it with a MUCH newer unit - and my monthly electric bill decreased by $20! :cool:

Isn’t a non-working fridge effectively an ice chest?

:smiley: Just add handles and throw it in the bed of the truck?:eek: :smiley:

I think you’re correct, it should be insulated well enough for the job.

Just be sure to know what the plan is to move stuff in and out of the fridge so that it’s open for as little time as possible. I remember doing that during an extended power outage a few years ago. I hadn’t thought of buying ice from a store to help keep things cool, although with the power outage it was hard to know exactly how long it would last, while in this case the fridge’s user knows he’s not going to get a working one for a few days and the time/money investment could easily be worth it.

Do you still have a copy of your lease? The managment/landlord would have spelled out what they are responsible for, and what you are responsible for. That is your starting point. If they haven’t fixed your fridge, they may not be responsible for it (per your contract). If they are responsible for it, then the case might be made to withhold rents until it is fixed.

Former renter. . . but to good places. Read your lease.

Yeah, sounds like you picked the worst time to have your fridge quit working.

Well insulated enough, sure. But there are other considerations, You want to throw a bunch of ice into your non-working fridge to keep it cool, fine. How do you deal with the water as the ice melts? What’s your catch pan and do you empty it? Why, specifically, is letting it melt all over your kitchen floor the superior option? How MUCH ice are you going to need to chill down your entire fridge box? How much of the OP’s refrigerator contents really needs to be kept chilled vs how much can be eaten or safely stored by other means? It could easily require 20 kilo of ice every other day just to keep the fridge box cool when a smaller ice chest could work using a fraction of that.

Please explain to me exactly why my logic is faulty.

Ninja’d by Alpha Twit – ice in a refrigerator is going to produce a water problem, and if the fridge is going to be repaired rather than replaced, could even impair its future operation. (I briefly had water dripping into the fridge below the freezer which I suspect was caused by a small amount of water in the freezer freezing up and obstructing one of the drain holes; the problem disappeared after a few defrost cycles.) A cooler chest is designed to hold water, and the larger ones even have outlet valves for drainage.

The better solution for fridges and chest freezers is dry ice, although that can be hard to find outside of industrial sources. FWIW, I found during a three-day power outage that a modern well insulated fridge can stay cold that long, although the key is absolutely minimizing the opening of fridge or freezer doors, preferably not at all. Towards the end of the second day I was getting worried about the stuff in the freezer and took it over to a friend who had a big freezer. But when the power came back on later on the third day, even the few remaining items in almost-empty freezer were still safely frozen. YMMV. Don’t take chances on food spoilage if in doubt.

Get a bucket, your largest food storage container, a roasting pan, etc. and put the ice in them?

My Google fu is strong! :stuck_out_tongue:

“Finally, the landlord must keep in reasonably good and safe working order and condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances supplied, or required to be supplied by him.”

Linked from

Aha! Say you. They have to keep the fridge “in reasonably good and safe working order”! But is is reasonable to expect a non-essential appliance that unexpectedly broke down on a Saturday, be replaced any sooner than Monday or in this case Wednesday (including time to purchase, deliver and install) because of the holiday? Also, what if the fridge isn’t broken, but it’s an electrical problem that may take another day or more to be repaired? I would guess that the best you could hope for is to sue for the food you lost in small claims court. But you’d have to prove the landlord’s actions were against some specific provision in your lease and/or were “unreasonable” according to the law.

BTW, here’s the FDA’s guidelines for food safety:

Power Outages: During and After
When the Power Goes Out . . .

Here are basic tips for keeping food safe:

"Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.

A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

Buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep an 18 cubic foot, fully stocked freezer cold for two days.

If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish, or eggs while they are still at safe temperatures, it is important that each item is thoroughly cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to ensure that any foodborne bacteria that may be present are destroyed. However, if at any point the food was above 40º F for 2 hours or more (or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90 º F) — discard it."


FWIW: I’ve had two toilet clogs this year (knock wood, no more please) and the first time was on a weekend and I was told if I had a second bathroom, the plumber would be by the next day. It was only after I said that I had only one bathroom, was a plumber dispatched that day. Reasonable? I think so.