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Can a landlord dictate the a/c temperature I should have it?

Customer Question
Hi. Can a landlord...

Hi. Can a landlord dictate the a/c temperature I should have it?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

I am currently dealing with a landlord that tells me I cant lower the temperature not lower that 77-78 degrees. She doesnt pay my electric bill. The ac unit outside and inside is over 20 years old. It has broke down twice in less than 6 months and she sends her ac person and the only thing he repairs is the fan. Her ac guy told me that the both units has to be replaced. She got the ac to run again by replacing once again the fan and told me I cant lower the ac temperature not lower than 77. My response was " Really" I said to her Ive been a good tenant always paid my rent on time and becuase you dont want to replace the units that are over 20 years old and im force to have it at your convenience temperature? Her response: Yes you have to deal with it, Im in no position now to replace ac. What Can I do? My lease ends June 2018. Please help? Do I have any options?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Like what else?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/4/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Gerald-Esquire
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,227
Experience: Over 30 years of experience
Verified

Hello,
Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me while I review your question. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Hello,

Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

No. The Landlord can not direct that you maintain a higher AC temperature than is comfortable.

In fact the landlord is obligated to provide a proeprly working air conditioning and heating system. If the landlord fails to properly maintain these systems you have the right to withhold rent until the system is properly repaired.

BUT if you decide to withhold rent you have to do it the right way. You have to send written notice to the landlord and give them 20 days to make the repairs. Then you can withhold rent until the repairs are made. The landlord can NOT evict you for doing this.

Here is a link to the law:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.201.html

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow-up questions, feel free to ask.

If you ask a follow-up question and I do not respond immediately, it is because I am temporarily unavailable. I promise to respond as soon as I return. Please note that I am often unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response, PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or, if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you, and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Is not hot inside but it's not cool either. It's a very old unit that it's over 20 years old. She.especifically.said you have to keep it at 77-78 because if you put it lower the unit will.be working too hard and it will break. I'm in no,position to replace the unit.
So my response to her: you're telling me I have to keep the temperature of 77/78 because you refuse to replace unit knowing and proven by your a.c. guy that the entire a.c. needs to be replaced since is over 20 years old? I've been a good tenant for over a year and always paid my rent on time and also you don't pay my electricity. So,basically i have to deal with this? Her response: yeap you have to deal with it.. that's all i have to offer. I'm so. Upset that I paid her rent and I have to go by her rules.
The a.c. unit is small and the condo is over 1200 sq ft. Since is working so hard my too monthly bills are $160. I would like to find another place but I'm afraid she will keep my deposit and one month with her because I'm cancelling lease. How can I do it that she can give me the two months when I get another place. I my lease end June 2018.
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

The landlord is wrong about this.

All you need do is send her a letter demanding that it be fixed as the law requires or you will withhold your rent.

Then you can start withholding your rent after 20 days.

If you need help with the letter let me know and I will try to provide a sample.

Kind regards,

Gerald

(Please do not forget to rate me – click the five stars. It adds nothing additional to your costs, but it helps me greatly. Plus it is good Karma for you. Thank you.)

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Can you please send me a sample letter
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I can, but the service treats that as a premium service. I will send you a discounted offer so that I can get your email and phone number. I will then be able to send you a letter privately and discuss how to do this.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I have sent you an offer. I have discounted it significantly for you. Please click the accept button and I can call you and provide you the information that you need.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

OR if you prefer a generalized example that you can redo for yourself at no additional charge see this link:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/sample-letter-landlord-you-intend-withhold-the-rent.html

You will have to edit it for your situation and replace the CA reference with the Florida code reference.

Make sure you send the letter by certified mail.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Can you tell me the floridacode reference
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Florida Code 83-201

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.201.html

Also this guide has useful information for you:

http://www.unlimitedmls.com/forms/Landlord-Tenant-Handbook.pdf

Kind regards,

Gerald

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you for your help. Can she.evict me?
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

State in your letter just what you told me:

1) The Ac System has not worked properly for some time.

2) The repairman states that the ac unit is 20 years old and needs to be replaced.

3) That the faulty unit is causing your electric bills to be higher than they should be.

State that she is required to provide a properly working system and that if it is not replaced you will be with holding rent until it is, as allowed by Florida law.

If she tries to evict you respond to the courts with a copy of the letter and go to court to tell the judge what happened.

The law does not allow you to be evicted for doing this.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

*

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
One more question. I'm going to send the certified letter tomorrow to landlord but tomorrow the rent is due. Should I send the rent payment with the letter?
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Unfortunately, yes. You cannot withhold until you give formal written notice and opportunity to repair.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Can I send letter with rent
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
If I find another place and I give her a 30 day notice. What's the best way to do it so,she doesn't try to stay with two months of rent. Thanks for all your excellent legal advise.
Real Estate Lawyer: Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Yes. You can send the letter and the rent.

If you find another place then you want to time you rmove so that you do not get stuck paying her extra rent.

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