What to do if my furnace blew oabout 3 weeks ago and my landlord won’t fix it?

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What to do if my furnace blew oabout 3 weeks ago and my landlord won’t fix it?

Asked on January 9, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

While a landlord must replace a defective furnace, the law does not specify a specific time frame in which this must be done. Instead, the landlord has a "reasonable" period of time to make the repair following the tenant having given them notice of the problem. Obviously, during the winter, they would have a shorter period of time to make the fix. In any event, 3 weeks is well beyond being reasonable.

The fact is that in every residential lease there what is called an "implied warranty of habitability". Basically, this gives a tenant the right to live in a safe and sanitary premises.; providing heat is included in this. Accordingly, in your ituation you have several options, you can:

  1. Repair and Deduct - Fix the problem and then charge the landlord for the cost of repair;
  2. Terminate the lease - End the tenancyand vacate the premises; or
  3. Withhold Rent - Refuse to make any further rental payments until the repair is properly made.

However, before you pursue any of these remedies, you should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney or tenant's rights organization in your are for information regarding specific state law. If you fails to follow the proper procedures for attempting these self-help measures, you could be held liable for breach of your lease.


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