If my air conditioner does not adequately cool my rented duplex, and I have requested that it be worked on, can I break my lease without penalty?

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If my air conditioner does not adequately cool my rented duplex, and I have requested that it be worked on, can I break my lease without penalty?

I have working window AC units that do not keep up with the heat. My living room was 95 degrees for 5 hours yesterday. After I notified them by email, the landlord said they would put in another unit 12 days ago and they have not. I cannot sleep in my own home. Can I break my lease without penalty?

Asked on August 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you can not break your lease unless a court allow you to and renders it void.  What you can do is go to court and start a proceeding against your landlord for a breach of contract (the lease) and breach of warranty of habitability.  Ask the court to allow you to pay you rent in to court and for an "abatement" - reduction - of the rent. The courts will make sure that it is fixed and you are compensated or that you can leave.  Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you can not break your lease unless a court allow you to and renders it void.  What you can do is go to court and start a proceeding against your landlord for a breach of contract (the lease) and breach of warranty of habitability.  Ask the court to allow you to pay you rent in to court and for an "abatement" - reduction - of the rent. The courts will make sure that it is fixed and you are compensated or that you can leave.  Good luck.


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