Is it legal to not respond to emergency maintenance call?

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Is it legal to not respond to emergency maintenance call?

I called an hour before the main office closed I left multiple messages, no answer. Then I called emergency maintenance and it took 2 hours before I received a call back. I was instructed to fix it myself and I was told to go outside and turn off a switch to my central air, which I have no idea what is what. My apartment is at 95 degrees and I have 2 kids and a dog and it’s unbearable. I was informed that there was no one that is HVAC certified to work on this until Monday; no one has even come to look at the situation or even tried to help.

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the situation actually renders your premises uninhabitable, if the landlord does not address it in a "reasonable" time period after notice, you may be entitled to 1) pay for the repair yourself, then take the cost thereof out of rent (called "repair and deduct"); or 2) seek monetary compensation for the time you lived with the condition (e.g. some retroactive pro rata rent reduction for the time the premises were impaired). However, the key is that the response must be in a "reasonable" time. 95 degee heat is unpleasant, but hardly life-threatening except to those with some medical susceptibility to it; given the demand for HVAC repairs at times like these, having someone respond to it within a week or so probably is reasonable.


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