Should I deposit my rent with the courts?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Should I deposit my rent with the courts?

I live in a large apartment building and the central air conditioner is constantly breaking down. And when it is “working”, it hardly cools my unit. I have complained to the building manager several times and he laughs it off and does nothing. I have upper respitory problems and I need an air conditioner that works properly. Can I threaten to deposit my rental payments with the courts or is there something else I can do? I’m sure I’m not the only tenant that is complaining.

Asked on June 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  Not all maintenance problems rise to the level of a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, but not having air conditioning in the hot weather when you have health problems, you could argue is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time to a breach of the implied warranty of habitability by not making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs (hire someone to make the repairs) and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of  the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction (withholding rent does not mean depositing it with the court).  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  You could also contact the local housing code inspector, who could bring an enforcement action against the landlord for housing code violations.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption