What shoulda tenant do if after 2 monthsthey still have no air, stove,or outlets that work?

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What shoulda tenant do if after 2 monthsthey still have no air, stove,or outlets that work?

My daughter has made a list and given it to the landlords; they told her call maintenance. She has done that and has gotten no response.

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In every lease, there is what is called an "implied warranty of habitability". This means that a landlord is required to maintain the premises in a habitable (liveable) condition by complying with local/state housing codes.

While not having A/C might not qualify, typically not having a stone or operable electrical outlets would qualify as a breach of the implied warranty of habitability. And when there is such a breach, if the landlord does not make the necessary repairs in a reasonable time after being notified, the tenant can:

  • make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent;
  • move out; or
  • withhold rent. 

However before attempting any of these remedies, a tenant should consult with either an attorney that who specializes in such matters or at least a tenants rights organization. Failing to take the appropriate legal steps could result in their financial liability.


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