Can a landlord legally refuse to fix a tenants air conditioning if the tenant owes back rent?

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Can a landlord legally refuse to fix a tenants air conditioning if the tenant owes back rent?

I was out of work for 2 1/2 months and am behind paying my rent. I have since found a job and will hopefully be able to give my landlord some money in the coming weeks. I’ve asked the rental office 3 times to come and fix my AC but to no avail.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally not.  But you are not in the best of situations here.  What you can do is go to court and ask to pay the back rent in to court until such time as the AC is fixed and ask for an abatement (reduction) in the rent owed due to the lack of habitability of the apartment. Good luck to you.


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