Hello, I just moved into a new apartment about a month ago. While I was looking for apartments, one of my conditions was that I would be allowed to install my window ac unit on a window in my apartment. I asked the property manager if I would be allowed to do so in this apartment and he verbally agreed, saying "if you mount it with a bracket it's secure then that would be fine." Now that I have moved in and signed a year lease he is reversing his position and saying that I cannot mount an AC unit and that if I did he would "go in there and take it down myself." What legal recourse do I have?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): California
Talking to the property manager.
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Does the written lease say anything about A/C, window units, etc..., or is it completely silent as to the matter?
no, the written lease is silent on the issue
Is there an "inclusion" clause (that is, is there a clause in the contract that says that the contract represents the entirety (or some similar language) and that any other conditions are null and void)?
let me see
In this instance, where the contract is silent as to a previously negotiated oral condition, and there's no clause that prohibiits any other negotiation, you CAN hold the landlord to the lease. Furthermore, without an express prohibition in the lease anyway, and assuming it's not against bylaws or local regulations, you can put in a window unit anyway (even without the landlord's consent). If the landlord enters your property without proper notification, that's literally criminal trespass, and you could press charges against him. If he were to damage your property (the A/C unit), that would be "conversion" (a civil tort that you could sue him for), and if he were to evict you, you could sue him for wrongful eviction.
Basically he doesn't have a leg to stand on here.
You can hold him to the previously agreed condition, and sue him if he renegs.
Now you should let him know that you had a deal, and that you're not afraid of enforcing your legal rights, if need be. Tell him that you hope it doesn't come to that, but if it does, you will do so.
Certainly you want to be amicable (because if he relents, he'll still be your landlord) but you also want to be firm to show him that you're not going to be bullied.
okay. How should I document all of this?
Certainly write everything down. Try to get him to admit in an email or text that you did agree to this (so you can prove it in court later).
If you record the conversation, make sure that you get his consent to do so.
Yes, the reason I need the AC is because I have a cat who is 21 yrs old and can get heat stroke very easily if the inside temperature reaches or passes 90. And I already have the ac unit. I think all of this goes to show that we had a verbal agreement.
Yes, but you would want to be able to absolutely corner him, if need be, in court, such that he could not say that you didn't have such an agreement.
how could I do that?
So rather than circumstantial evidence (that you purchased it, that you have a 21 year old cat, etc...) see if he will agree that you had an agreement. Ask him "didn't we have an agreement? Why did you change your mind?"
Again, in a cellular text or email message, so it's his response.
ok, got it
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and good luck to you!
My pleasure, and again, good luck to you!
Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
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