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

UPDATED: Jun 30, 2011

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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


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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