I am renting a home in Norther Calilfornia, the A/C unit leaks so we can not use it with out damaging the house, furniture, who should fix it?

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The landlord. He (or she) owns the own and the air conditioner. Furthermore, if the home had A/C when you rented it, or it was represented to you that it had A/C, then having A/C was part of the rental agreement, so to speak--you rented a home and agreed to pay a certain amount of money in the expectation that it had A/C. If it doesn't--and an A/C unit that you can't use may as well not be there--then you're not getting what you contracted or pay for.

If the landlord is truly in economic straights and can't afford to fix the A/C, that's one thing--even if you're legally in the right, you can't get blood from a stone. But it is the landlord's obligation to fix it, and if he or she is not able or willing to foot the bill for it, one option would be for you to pay for it and be reimbursed by a reduction in rent--but if you do that, make sure you get it all spelled out in advance in writing before a dime down.

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