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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2758
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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My air conditioning is out - 2nd time in 13 days - signed lease 6/23/2015. Have called, e

Customer Question

My air conditioning is out - 2nd time in 13 days - signed lease 6/23/2015. Have called, emailed, and completed online maintenance request - no response at all. It is 88 here , heat index of 100 and it is 2:30 p.m. and I am 68 years old.
My lease says that I cannot retain repairs from outside entity. I was not given owner's name - am dealing with a management company.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
What state you are located in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Missouri - Platte County, Kansaa City
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
Here is the applicable statute in Missouri:
441.234. 1. The provisions of this section shall apply only to a tenant who has lawfully resided on the rental premises for six consecutive months, has paid all rent and charges due the landlord during that time, and did not during that time receive any written notice from the landlord of any violation of any lease provision or house rule, which violation was not subsequently cured.
2. If there exists a condition on residential premises which detrimentally affects the habitability, sanitation or security of the premises, and the condition constitutes a violation of a local municipal housing or building code, and the reasonable cost to correct the condition is less than three hundred dollars, or one-half of the periodic rent, whichever is greater, provided that the cost may not exceed one month's rent, the tenant may notify the landlord of the tenant's intention to correct the condition at the landlord's expense. If the landlord fails to correct the condition within fourteen days after being notified by the tenant in writing or as promptly as required in case of an emergency, the tenant may cause the work to be done in a workmanlike manner and, after submitting to the landlord an itemized statement, including receipts, deduct from the rent the actual and reasonable cost of the work, as documented by the receipts, not exceeding the amount specified in this subsection; provided, however, if the landlord provides to the tenant within said notice period a written statement disputing the necessity of the repair, then the tenant may not deduct the cost of the repair from the rent without securing, before the repair is performed, a written certification from the local municipality or government entity that the condition requiring repair constitutes a violation of local municipal housing or building code. In the event of such certification, the tenant may cause the work to be done as described herein if the landlord fails to correct the condition within fourteen days after the date of said certification or the date of the notice from the tenant, whichever is later, or as promptly as required in case of an emergency. The tenant's remedy provided herein is not exclusive of any other remedies which may be available to the tenant under the law. No lease agreement shall contain a waiver of the rights described in this section.
3. A tenant may not repair at the landlord's expense if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant's family, or other person on the premises with tenant's consent. A tenant may not deduct in the aggregate more than the amount of one month's rent during any twelve-month period.
Missouri’s implied warranty of habitability is part of its common law and has not been codified, so the Missouri Statutes do not give much guidance in this area. Unfortunately, in most jurisdictions, including Missouri, air conditioning is not a requirement to be provided by the landlord. You will need to look at your lease to see if it addresses this issue and requires that the landlord provide air conditioning. If the lease specifically requires air conditioning, then the landlord has 14 days after proper notice is given (or whatever the lease provides) to make the necessary repairs. Under the statute, you have the right to make repairs (unless the lease forbids it which you say is the case - you need to read the lease further to ascertain if there is a time frame given to make repairs and what you rights are if the landlord does not meet that time frame) and to withhold rent. The statutory law requires the landlord to provide premises that are fit and safe for human habitation and, in the event of the failure of the landlord to make necessary repairs, permits a tenant who has resided on the premises for more than six months to make the repair himself, provided the total cost of the repair is not more than $300, and deduct the cost from the rent. To answer your question, unless your lease provides it, air conditioning is not an amenity that the landlord must provide unless they agree to under the lease and you would have no remedy at law.
See link for your tenant rights in Missouri:
http://lsem.org/files/8714/0025/7770/You_and_your_Landlord.pdf
Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I see you have reviewed my answer, please let me know if I can do anything further. Please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Is there anyway to receive a positive rating?

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