AgentRentals

Broken air conditioner no reason to withhold rent

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Question: I live in an apartment and my air conditioning broke down on a Saturday during the hottest weekend of the year. I called the manager and he said they cannot fix it until Monday. I was without the AC for three days. I think I should not pay rent for three days. What do you think? Steven Kellman, an attorney for tenants, replies: Building and housing codes require basic health and safety conditions like proper heat and plumbing, but they do not require that your apartment have air conditioning (AC). If you have AC in your unit, it must be maintained by the landlord because that is a feature you are paying for in the rent. For some of us, AC is a nice bonus, but for others, it may be a medical necessity and excessive heat may actually be very dangerous for some people. Therefore, the landlord has a duty to fix the AC as soon as is reasonably possible. On hot days when AC service calls are probably at a peak, it is not uncommon to take a few days to get a unit repai...