Well, it's not legal, and fairly dangerous to deduct something like food from your rent. I would put a notice to quit on the door on the 11th of the month if the tenant didn't forward the balance after a discussion. There is a strict protocol to rent withholding, and part of it is establishing an independant account into which you must deposit the full amount of rent on time
(and late fees if it's deposited into the account late) each month
until the dispute is resolved. At that point, the held rent must be forwarded to the LL in full. I hate to hear when people throw this around so easily as advice, because it can really get someone evicted. And a lot of people have this misconception. If you want to request that your LL reimburse you for food, by all means... Maybe it will work out.
Also, in most states, a LL does not have to reimburse you if you initiate repairs to his/her house. I have even had to charge a tenant because they had someone do something that was against code and totally illegal.
: That put us at risk, because we were liable for this - and the very people who had that done could sue us for the violation.
If you discuss it with the LL and they agree to your making a repair
- that's completely fine. In this case, if a tenant bought a refridgerator, I would not reimburse them - it's their refridgerator, and they would take with them when they move.
When you own a house, you may
not able to get a refigerator repaired or replaced within a week. Homeowners wouldn't get it done any faster than normal LLs. If it's not a large complex with it's own facilities - handyman staff and extra appliances on hand - there is no way to expect that anyone can do that so soon. If they can - excellent. It's really good luck.
If there's been some history with this fridge... like you've been telling him it's a fire hazard or something and he's not done anything after several calls - yeah, it's neglect. So far this is just a guy who is trying his best, unless you find out otherwise. LLs don't owe tenants food when things that break, break. They just owe tenants what is possible in the world we live in. Overnight refridgerator replacement usually isn't.
Not trying to be a downer, just to correct some of the misconceptions I see...
I hope that your fridge is fixed quickly and that all goes smoothly!