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When a refrigerator quits working, it can create costly and time-consuming issues.

Landlords are required to maintain and repair appliances that are supplied with the rented home. Wis. Stat. 704.07(2)(a)2. It is important for tenants to let their landlord know about any problems with their fridge (or other appliances) as soon as possible. Repair requests or concerns should be made in writing or you can write an email or letter to your landlord after the conversation to document what you discussed. Other steps for a repair are outlined here.  

If the fridge quits working, tenants can talk to their landlord about next steps and if any options are available. For example, could the landlord bring in a mini-fridge or is there a fridge in a vacant unit that can be moved? This should also be in writing!

Also, tenants should keep track of their extra expenses caused by the fridge not working, such as buying new food or a mini-fridge to prevent food from spoiling.

If the tenant has renter’s insurance, it may cover the replacement costs of the food lost.

If the landlord refuses to compensate the tenant or make repairs, another option may be file an action in small claims court.