How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10221
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
CalAttorney2 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I'm renting a house from a private owner. I have been

Customer Question

I'm renting a house from a private owner. I have been without air conditioning in the summer for 3 days now. And the landlord has not contacted anyone about fixing it. In the summer in Arizona sit conditioning is a must. My dogs are having beat exhaustion and I'm worried about them getting heat stroke. I'm having a hard time in the heat myself. I'm a 100% disabled veteran (physically) and this situation is making things harder.
Also, I am moving on the 9th. I've already given written notice last month. I owe him 14 days of rent for this month but I haven't paid him yet. He is holding $1800 in deposits. The lease agreement has $0 for late fees. I don't want to pay if I have to spend 10 days without air conditioning and it's a health risk to myself and my pets. He can deduct the partial from my deposit since $300 of that is nonrefundable.
Do I HAVE to pay him the partial rent? Do I have any recourse for him being a neglectful landlord? This is also the 3rd time he has put my health in a bad situation. Once he left me without electricity for 8 days in July.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okay thank you
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

I am sorry to learn about this situation.

Unfortunately, you do owe rent for the time you are in the unit. (Air conditioning is not considered a "habitability" issue, so you cannot utilize rent withholding for this).

To enforce your right to have the A/C working properly, you can sue the landlord in small claims court for breach of contract. However, as you are moving out shortly, this probably is not a very viable option for you.

If you are leaving in a week (and there is a long weekend just starting), I highly doubt that your landlord is going to take any type of enforcement action (notice to pay/eviction) against you, and he is likely to simply deduct your prorated rent from your deposit.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
You would think living in 100 degree heat with no air conditioning would be an issue. People & pets die when it gets too hot.He's kind of weird and reminded me that I need to pay rent for my time here. So it's a toss up about him taking action then trying to charge me extra for that. Okay thank you for your time. I'm thinking of not paying and letting him take it out of deposit. Worried if I pay then he finds excuses not to return deposit I would be out $2200. The house is in immaculate condition but he's sketchy.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

You do owe for the rent (I can't tell you why A/C hasn't been included in habitability in extremely hot areas such as AZ, NM, TX, and parts of CA - as well as other states, but that is the current state of the law).

However, as far as enforcement, a "notice to pay" requires 5 days notice before your landlord can take an eviction action against you - this simply doesn't give him enough time to do anything before you are going to vacate anyway.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
if my dog gets injured or dies from the heat he's not liable? His lack of making sure I have electricity has already cost me 500 in losses. And right now at this hour it's so hot my English bulldog is having troubles from the heat. And I'm sweating and it's costing me sleep, which affects my disabilities. Somehow this is just wrong. But it seems I'm screwed. If my dog, or myself, sustains a heat injury I hope I'll be able to sue.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

No, that isn't what I am saying.

The landlord is still liable for the A/C not working, and you can sue them for breach of contract for this.

But the A/C is not subject to the "habitability" conditions (such as no water, no hot water, holes in the exterior envelope (roof, walls, doors, windows, floor), infestation, or lack of sewage) that allow you to withhold rent.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okay I.understand
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 month ago.

I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service (the series of 5 stars next to the chat window) so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "ForCustomerquot; and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.


Related Landlord-Tenant Questions