What to do if property management refuses to replace our A/C and now we are leaving?

Basically, the management refuses to replace our A/C unit. They sent their maintainance guy out here, he said it was because we had our fan on the A/C on, on instead of auto. Then they sent an “A/C expert” employeed by this company, who said it was fine. We have a picture that shows it was 90 in our apartment. My roomate’s dad called and talked to the owner and the owner was rude. His employee called my roomate’s dad and was extreamly rude and said we should leave. Now they’re giving us a week to move and break lease but we have to retract every thing we’ve said and reported. How do we go about this in a way that we can move out and either we pay nothing or they pay half/ all of our moving expenses?

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can fight the eviction--you cannot be evicted simply because the landlord wants you out. If you have a written lease, you may only be evicted for nonpayment of rent, for grossly negligently or willfully destroying the landlord's property, for material (important) violations of lease terms after being warned to stop, for continuing to disturb the peace of other tenants after being warned to stop, or for certain other fairly obvious bad acts (like threatening or attacking the landlord). If you did not have a written lease, you could be evicted as above or on 30 days  notice--but not on a week's notice.

Your landlord may not simply lock you out--if he does, he's violated the law, and you should be able to sue him for illegal eviction. To evict you, he has to go through the courts. You can contest the eviction in court, and if he doesn't have grounds for the eviction, you should win. Furthermore, if the lack of A/C has made your unit uninhabitable or of significantly diminished habitability at times, or if your lease states you will have working A/C, then the landord's failure to provide A/C could potentially entitle you to a rent reduction for the period of time you've been suffering without air conditioning.

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