I rent a home in california, in 100 degree + temps. My air condition unit stopped working over 14 days ago and the landlord has not fixed it. Can I with hold rent until it is repaired and do I need to pay back all rent once it is fixed?
Viktoriya S. ∙ September 24, 2019
If the air conditioner was provided by the Landlord and stoped working through no fault of the tenant, landlord is responsible for repairs. First, you should provide a written notice to a landlord about the problem. Second, you should give a landlord a reasonable time up to 30 days to fix the air conditioning unit (reasonable time could be shorter if the weather is very hot). Next, if landlord refuses to repair, you have the option to repair yourself and deduct the repairs from the future rent ( the cost cannot exceed one month's rent). Put all communication in writing, especially your intent to repair and deduct. Another remedy, such as withholding the rent until the unit is fixed, is available for you in Ca. However, using this remedy may present some risks because, according to CA law, the defect must be serious in order to justify withholding (unfortunately, broken air conditioner might not be the one of them.) Withholding the rent might trigger eviction and then the judge will decide whether the condition was a substantial defect that rendered premises inhabitable. To discuss this in details, I recommend you to schedule a consultation with your Legal Zoom provider law firm.
Thanks for the feedback! Change answer
Need help? Contact an independent attorney from our network.
ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT: This portion of the LegalZoom website is an advertisement for legal services. LegalZoom does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who advertises on our site. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information contained in this advertisement is not legal advice. Any information you submit through this site may not be protected by attorney-client privilege and may be provided to attorneys for the purpose of determining your needs for legal services. All case evaluations are performed by a participating attorney.
This advertisement and all attorney services may be subject to additional terms and conditions, located on the website of each attorney. Please visit the website of the participating attorney in your area for more details. Any arrangement made by you and your attorney is strictly between you and them.