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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I was wondering if you could help with an issue I have had

Customer Question

Good afternoon,
I was wondering if you could help with an issue I have had with our house. We have been renting for about a year now and six months ago we started to experience problems with AC. We called maintenance but instead of fixing the issue, the repairman just refilled freon. This happened several more times and the AC was never really fixed.
We have also noticed that our electric bill more than doubled during this whole ordeal. Is the landlord responsible for this unfortunate increase in electricity usage?
Thank you very much for your time and help, I really appreciate it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You can try suing your landlord in small claims court for the increased electrical bill. These claims are difficult to prove (I think you at least have a "colorable claim" - meaning the basic elements necessary to create a cause of action - the landlord has failed to maintain the unit in a workable state, and caused you damages, namely the increased electrical cost, this is not a speculative damage, and is clearly identified), but small claims takes time and at least some money - usually about 4-8 months minimum.

You can find information about small claims here: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/sls/forms/How-to-Sue-in-Small-Claims-Court.pdf

Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.