You got shafted by the plumber who said you need a power vent water heater. These type of heaters are just more energy efficient. But not required. And cost twice or 3 tines the money, than a standard type water heater. Landlords should find repair people who are trust worthy. prior to having an emergency. Look for smaller type companies. Run from big companies who have large advertisements on TV or many flashy trucks. These type companies have sales people that know how to sell ice to Eskimo.
What did the inspector say. He/or she has nothing to profit from the sale of a water heater. The inspector could have been questioned as to the need of a power vent type heater. What type heater was in place before?
power vent40 gallons. I asked 2 different inspectors and the city and 40 gallons 6 years is ok , problem that home dpot wanted 50 gallons and 9 years and they were bulling me to sign a release that they did not garantie the job if i wasn not buying that