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John, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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Hello, Im renting a house in Pennsylvania. The air conditioner

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I'm renting a house in Pennsylvania. The air conditioner broke 3 days ago and it's been 90+ degrees since. Our landlord has a hx of not responding to calls or emails so we called an AC guy and he says it will need to be replaced for 5000. I forwarded the invoice to her, emailed her a description of exactly what was going on and had the AC guy call her, leave a message and explain the whole thing to her. She didn't call the ac guy back and replied to my email with "that sounds expensive," "I'm very busy" and said that I should call the real estate guy and pretty much figure it out. The real estate guy was a guy who showed us the house when we first started looking for places, he is not a property manager.

My lease lists air conditioning as an included appliance and that the landlord is responsible for repairs.

I've got a 10 month old at home and we're having a hard time.

My questions is can I get out of my lease, if so do I have to wait a certain amount of time before I do, or what are my next steps?

I'd appreciate any assistance you can offer, and thank you for your time.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. The failure of a landlord to maintain the premises in good condition is legal justification for a tenant to take defensive actions, such as moving out (even in the middle of a lease), paying less rent, withholding the entire rent until the problem is fixed, making necessary repairs or hiring someone to make them and deducting the cost from next months' rent. There is no specific amount of time you have to wait before doing any of these except that it must be a "reasonable" time in which you give the landlord to make these repairs before taking any of these actions. A reaonable time in your circumstances by my thought is not very long because you have the 10 month old. My thought would be for you to call the real estate person just to say you followed up on the suggestion. If that doesn't get you recourse, then you could easily break the lease or take any of these other options. You should be aware that none of these actions are perfect or an easy solution. Any of them could cause your landlord to try to evict you or try to sue you for the balance of the lease, but you'd have a solid defense to either action. It may be more difficult to assert your rights if you have not met your responsibilities as a tenant or broken conditions of your lease.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for your rresponse.


we had one more question.



if we end up breaking the lease do we have to leave right away or is there some sort of grace period we get to get our stuff out of the house and find a new place to live?

If you're going to break the lease it is advisable to get all the property out before you announce your move out to the landlord. There is no grace period per se. What would be ideal is to find a new place, then send the current landlord a letter advising that you intend to break the lease on a particular date if repair is not made before that date. Then, if an when nothing changes, execute your move out. Legally the landlord has no right to deny you access to your property at any time, but can throw it out if it does not appear you'll be returning for it.


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