Can I break a lease due to the A/C not working properly?

Our apartment is on the second floor with our bedroom being on the 3rd floor, with consecutive days of 100+ degree heat we have had to install a window unit in our upstairs bedroom. Since doing this our electric bill has increased by $150. If we did not have this window unit out bedroom would not be liveable. We have asked our apartments to help with this but they have refused to do anything about it. What can we do?

Asked on July 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What you need to do is to go to court and start an action against the landlord for a breach of the rental contract and the warranty of habitability.  Ask the court to allow you to pay the rent in to court and for an abatement  - reduction - of the rent for the time that the AC has not been working AND for reimbursement of the extra costs associated (purchase and electric bill due to window unit).  If the landlord does not fix the problem then you can ask the court to void the lease.  But you can not just break it yourself.  Good luck.

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