If my landlord won’t turn on the A/C and my apartment has been 100+ degrees for a week now, can I make them turn it on?

UPDATED: Apr 17, 2012

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If my landlord won’t turn on the A/C and my apartment has been 100+ degrees for a week now, can I make them turn it on?

My landlord says it’s a city regulation that they can’t turn the A/C on until the 15th of June; I can’t find any such regulation. It has been over 100 degrees in the apartment with windows open for a week; they refuse to turn the AC on because they control the use of the AC and heater for the whole building. What can I do?

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

How horrible.  Is there a local number for you to cal about the issue?  You need to check and see if in fact this falls under the warranty of habitability (and I would think that it does).  Your State Sanitary Code protects the health, safety and well-being of tenants and the general public (105 CMR 410). The local Boards of Health enforce the Code. (Note: In Boston, it is the Housing Inspection Department).  Get their number and complain.  Also, in Massachusetts it is my nderstanding that the law allows you to withhold rent when there is a breach (unlike other states).  I would double check with a tenant's rights group.  Good luck.

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