Am I obligated to pay for rent the month that I was without my air conditioning unit?

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Am I obligated to pay for rent the month that I was without my air conditioning unit?

It took my landlord 6 weeks to repair my air conditioning unit during that time my son suffered an asthma attack because it was 90 degrees inside. I also had to pay to have my windows screened in because of the bug problem. I could not open a window for fresh air. Do I have to pay rent for that month?

Asked on May 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may have a cause of action to seek damages (e.g. the cost of screens; the medical cost for any treatment that your son required) if the landlord breached the warranty of habitability--that is, if it can be reasonably said that the apartment was not fit to be inhabited due to the landlord's fault (e.g. negligence or willful actions).

However, you would need to sue the landlord to recover this money, if he does not pay voluntarily. You do not have a right to not pay the landlord his rent or to offset what you believe he owes you against the rent, and, if you do not pay the full rent when due, you may find yourself in breach of the lease and potential liable to be evicted. Whether it is worth pursuing legal action and suing to recover this money is something you need to consider.


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