Should I pay rent when my landlord refuses to fix a major problem?

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Should I pay rent when my landlord refuses to fix a major problem?

My A/C has not worked for almost 2 weeks . I have repeatedly told my landlord about the problem. She sent a handyman out a few times he didn’t know what he was doing and the problem is now much worse. The house is now flooding because of the A/C. My ceiling and walls are ruined and the problem is still not fixed. I have a baby and I don’t want her to get sick when mold and mildew start growing . Please tell me what I can do.

Asked on June 26, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You need to talk to an attorney about this.  I do not practice in Florida, and landlord-tenant law and procedure varies from one state to another;  reliable advice would also have to be based on more detailed information than you can give in a question here.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Please follow up on this, because it sounds as if you are entitled to some relief here.  In many states, you can refuse to pay the rent to the landlord, and when he files the court papers to evict you, you pay the rent to the court clerk and ask the judge for a reduction ("abatement" in the legalese used in many states) of the rent.


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