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KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4219
Experience:  13 years of experience in real estate law: Foreclosures, Landlord-Tenant, Condo/Coop, Property Law, Deeds, Purchases/Sales, Estates.
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I just moved to NE from Oregon. I rented a Central air-conditioned

Customer Question

I just moved to NE from Oregon. I rented a Central air-conditioned house August 1st, but did not arrive to move in until August 19th. We moved my Mother's things 1st, from a Senior housing unit in Sutherland. My household goods were moved in the on Monday, August, Aug. 22. The house was very warm the entire time. I thought it was because we had the doors open most of the time, with people trooping in and out. I finally realized, by Thursday, Aug 25, that you a/c was not working, and called the owner/landlord. I was told they would have someone out the next day. Someone did arrive Friday (8/26) and he thoroughly checked the inside unit, then the outside unit. He finally returned to tell me the the motor was "frozen up" and nothing he tried could get it started. It needed to be replaced. He left to report his findings to the owner. It is now Thursday, September 1st. Nothing has been done, but to give us the run-around.
the owner has claimed he "can't afford" to replace the unit. He said he'd have a window unit put in the kitchen. However, even that has not been done.
My Mother is 90 years old. She's had two strokes, and primarily wheelchair-bound. The temperatures here typically run in the 90's. I've purchased fans, but it has been not been below the 80 degrees in this house (except at night) since we moved in. We spend our afternoons wondering the mall or WalMart, or driving around in my air conditioned car.
I'm drafting a letter, to be sent certified mail, demanding that they replace or replace the central a/c unit, or provide the window unit that was initially promised. But, I understand he will still have 14 days from receipt of my letter to accomplish any fix. What other recourse do I have? If I could find another house/apartment, I would just prefer to terminate my lease. If this is the kind of landlord he is, I don't want a year of this kind of response.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 6 years ago.
Hello, I am happy to assist you today.

Does your lease specifically outline that the AC is included in the rental? If so, the landlord is resonsible to fix it and if he refuses, you can break your lease and get your deposit back.

As long as AC is included as the responsibility of the landlord in the terms of your lease, you can get this resolved, although you might have to go to court to get out of the lease.

Take care,
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The lease does not specifically address the air conditioner. However, the classified add - in the local paper - advertised the house for rent with AC. That is part of what I'm paying for. I would NOT rent a home or apartment in this state that did not provide air conditioning. The lease states: Tenant will immediately inform the Landlord of any problems." And the Landlord-Tenant Law states that the Landlord "must make all repairs to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition.... maintain whatever facilities are supplied, such as the furnace, plumbing and elevators..."

Is this the best you can do?
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 6 years ago.
Well, technically the AC must be listed on the lease to be included. But you might be ok here with the clause "maintain whatever facilities are supplied", although right after that it lists other things besides the AC.

So I think you have a strong argument that the AC is included in your lease and should send a written letter to your landlord, certified, return receipt, demanding it to be fixed by a certain date, and if it is not you declare the lease no longer in effect and expect your rent paid to date and deposit back.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'm sorry. I don't believe you've told me anything more than I already found/knew myself. I'd already reviewed the Landlord-Tenant Law, and pulled up the North Platte, NE Code of Ordinances. I had hoped for a suggestion for a quick fix. Writing the letter gives the Landlord another 14 days. I am now in a new month and will not withhold September's rent and be determined "in the wrong." Thanks for nothing.

P.S. Maybe if I just keep being a bitch, like my response to you, they'll let me terminate the lease just to get rid of me......
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 6 years ago.
Hello. I have spent a lot of time working with you.
The purpose of consulting with a lawyer is to get accurate legal information. You never know if what you find on the internet is going to be accurate. So if you found similar information out there, that means that you have now verified what you needed to know.

Please make sure to click "accept" on your way out so that we can close out this question and I can get paid for my time working with you.

Take care.
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 6 years ago.
Hello. If you have any follow up questions, please click "REPLY".

If not, please click "ACCEPT" to close out this question so that I get credit for my work with you.

Take care,
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It said I didn't have to pay if I was not satisfied. I had looked all that data before I ever submitted my question to JustAsk. I did not need confirmation of stuff I already knew. I am not satisfied, but realize I'm not going to get anything more from this discourse.

Thank you.
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 6 years ago.
Ok, well next time tell me what you already know so you don't waste my time. When you hire a professional, you pay for their advice, regardless of what you already knw. As you know I now won't get paid for my time working with you.

Good luck.