Can my landlord evict me ifI am with holding rent for repair of myA/C?

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Can my landlord evict me ifI am with holding rent for repair of myA/C?

My landlord refuses to fix the A/C unit that was working when we rented it. I have already logged a complaint with the attorney general.

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) The attorney general has nothing to do this--filing a complaint with him will get you nowhere. This is a civil dispute between you and the landlord, and the AG does not get involved in matters like this.

2) A landlord has to fix the A/C--it is potentially both a violation of the lease (you're not gettinig what you paid for) and of the implied warranty of habitablity to not repair it.

3) *Sometimes* you can withhold rent to pay for a repair the landlord will not make. But (i) you must have given the landlord written notice of the condition and a chance to fix it; and (ii) the most you can withhold is the actual cost to repair, (iii) if you actually do pay to repair it. You can't withhold rent just to pressure the landlord into fixing the A/C.

Withholding rent inproperly can result in your eviction. While you do have rights, it is recommended that you consult with a landlord-tenant attorney about the best way to vindicate your rights.


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