What remedies do I have against a former landlord that has posted a collection amount on my credit report that is not a valid debt?

I legally terminated my lease because the A/C was not cooling the apartment properly and the landlord would not take any action to remedy the problem. They concluded that since cold air was blowing from the vents, it was working properly despite the apartment not being able to cool below 80 degrees when the temperature was in the low 90’s. My wife was 7 months pregnant and I followed the letter of the lease in legally terminating it. They claim I owe early termination fees and have reported that to credit agencies. How do I get this resolved?

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to fight an uphill battle on this one and your road is that the apartment was not habitable. There are severe health issues when it comes to having no heat and no, blowing cold air is not sufficient, especially with a pregnant person. So, you go through the steps of legally terminating the lease. Then you contact your state attorney general and local consumer protection bureau or prosecutor regarding this matter. Then you file disputes with the credit report agencies indicating the landlord breached the lease and you are not liable for any monies owed. Keep doing this until this is all resolved. Contact the health department and contact building and safety, as well. Someone needs to be informed this landlord cannot continue to run apartments in this manner.

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