What are my rights if I’ve given my landlord more than enough time to fix my A/C and provide me with a refrigerator?

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What are my rights if I’ve given my landlord more than enough time to fix my A/C and provide me with a refrigerator?

I’ve been here for 5 months without air and 2 months without a working refrigerator. I’m 5months pregnant and my 5 year old son has asthma.

Asked on June 23, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Not having working A/C in the summer in your state, and not having a refrigerator, may be violations of the "implied warranty of habitability," or the requirment that all rental units be fit for their intended use (e.g. residence) and habitable. One way to address the issue is to withhold your rent until either the landlord corrects the issue or until he tries to evict you; if he tries to evict, you can raise these habitability issues a defense to eviction and legal justification to not paying rent. The judge, if he believes and agrees with you, can order the landlord to make the repairs and provide a refrigerator.  Be sure to have the withheld money available to pay to the landlord if the judge disagrees; or available to deposit the court if the judge wants the money held in trust until the issue is resolved.


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