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Frustrated tenant seeks help after landlord's gas leak management cost them more than $5,000: 'You are being taken advantage of'

"You'll likely need to go to court if you want a shot at getting any money refunded."

Gas leak bill

Photo Credit: iStock

An apartment tenant in the Netherlands is expressing their frustration online after an unfixed gas leak cost them about $5,352.

The resident took to r/TheNetherlands subreddit to explain the situation and get advice from others. 

"If you remember my other posts, there was a huge gas leak … and I realized about it because my consumption was abnormally high," they wrote. "It smelled like gas once and I assumed it was the stove, because it wasn't evident afterwards." 

"It was not noticeable even when the plumber came to check the meter and the pipes," they continued, adding that the owner recently communicated that he would not assume liability because the tenant reported the problem "too late and it's not their fault that the gas escaped."

Gas leaks in the home can be scary and can lead to a variety of health issues. Low levels of exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and irregular breathing, while high levels can cause some of the same issues, plus memory problems, loss of concentration, loss of consciousness, and even suffocation. And even if a gas leak doesn't cause any immediate harm to your health, it will take its toll on your pocketbook.

Leaked natural gas, which is predominantly made up of methane, also takes a severe toll on the environment, as methane is a potent planet-heating gas.

To keep yourself safe and avoid ending up in an unfortunate financial situation, regularly check any appliances that use natural gas. These may include furnaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, gas-burning stoves, and generators. If these appliances have a pilot light, make sure it burns small and blue with a yellow tip. You can also install a gas and carbon monoxide detector in your home that can pick up on small leaks. 

One simple way to reduce the risk of a gas leak in your home is to upgrade to electric appliances, like an induction stove or even a single induction cooktop, which have the added bonus of being far faster than their gas-powered counterparts. Home electrification is also cost-effective, as it can save you an estimated $1,800 per year on energy bills. 

As far as tenant's rights, they vary by location, so make sure to familiarize yourself with your own responsibilities as well as those of your landlord.

The Reddit community offered support for the frustrated tenant. 

One said, "I commiserate with you. You are being taken advantage of, and I hope you can win in the end. Ignore anyone who says it's your fault. Lots of people here (especially in this sub) like to put extra responsibility on others, particularly foreigners, and have no compassion for someone in a shitty situation."

"Private landlords are the worst," another added. "You'll likely need to go to court if you want a shot at getting any money refunded."

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