Is the landlord responsible to replace the window A/C unit that was broken when we moved in?

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Is the landlord responsible to replace the window A/C unit that was broken when we moved in?

He says we are responsible for our own A/C units but it doesn’t state that in the lease. It has been 100 degrees for 2 weeks straight and we can’t even live in the 1st floor because its so hot. Also we are paying for a 3 bedroom apt but can only use 2 because he won’t replace the A/C unit. And we also have 2 children a boy and a girl who have to share a room because of this situation.

Asked on August 5, 2011 Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you had reason to think that the apartment had air conditioning before you signed the lease (e.g. saw an air conditioner in the window; the apartment was advertised with air conditioning; the landlord said there was air conditioning; etc.), then the landlord's failure to fix it may be breach of the lease--you are not getting what you are paying for or what you agreed to rent (an apartment with air conditioning). Also, if the lack of air conditioning makes the apartment not safely habitable, that may be a breach of the implied warranty of habitability--the requirement that all rental premises be fit for their purpose. Therefore, you may have legal grounds to force the landlord to make the repair (or alternately to get monetary compensation, or break the lease without penalty). You should consult with an attorney who can help you understand and vindicate your rights.


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