What are my rights as a tenant if my A/C is not working?

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What are my rights as a tenant if my A/C is not working?

I rent a townhome fo $1250 a month, and 8 days ago the A/C went out. The air has been a constant problem in this home. It has been broken before. The repair man that finally came said that the system wasn’t good; he didn’t know how long the repair would hold up. It was above 90 degrees daily so I had to go to a hotel. The owner refused to compensate me. Now the air is out again. The property manager contacted the owner who continues to say it will be repaired but to date this still hasn’t happened. The property manager has someone who can make the repair for $2200 but the owner refuses saying he wants to use his insurance agency. I have offered to pay for the repair and deduct it from my rent but the owner refuses. I have asked for compensation and the owner says he’ll take $100 of of next month rent. However, temps have been between 91-96 degree over the past 8 days. What can I do?

Asked on September 26, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which means that the landlord must maintain the premises in a habitable condition based on compliance with local and state housing codes.  You could sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability for failure to repair the air conditioning.  Establishing a breach of the implied warranty of habitability allows you to either move and terminate the lease and your obligation to pay future rent or if you decide to stay on the premises, refuse to pay rent and defend against eviction.

Another alternative would be what you mentioned to pay for the air conditioning repairs and deduct the cost from the rent.

You should be compensated for the inconvenience of staying at the hotel due to the air conditioner not working in the hot weather.


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