Do I have legal right to withhold rent if myA/C is not being fixed?

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Do I have legal right to withhold rent if myA/C is not being fixed?

They keep ignoring my maintenance service request. Can they continue to get away with this legally?

Asked on June 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Habitability is the key in withholding rent. While running water and electricity are habitability items, air conditioning may not really be a habitability item. However, that is not to say that you don't have recourse. In some states, you can certainly withhold rent until items are fixed. You can also and perhaps the better choice, is to inform your landlord in writing that if the air conditioning is not fixed within let's say 48 hours, you will have it fixed yourself and the cost of repair will be deducted from your rent. Other options may be available to you, including contacting your consumer protection office that handles landlord tenant matters and filing a complaint against the landlord. The landlord cannot retalitate against you for filing the complaint (or face hot water) but understand that the landlord will not have to renew your lease.


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