Posted by Mark Smith on August 11, 1999 at 14:49:55:
In Reply to: air conditioning not cooling posted by JW on August 11, 1999 at 10:56:24:
You don't say where you live. In some Southern states, state and/or local law and practice make air conditioning an essential service. I'm not sure if this is the case in New York, even though it can get very hot here, as the summer of 1999 has shown. But even if you live in New York, you still have your contractual right to a properly-working air conditioner, as provided in your lease.
You should write to the landlord, and send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. Filing a complaint with DHCR for a rent regulated apartment would not yield quick results. And I don't think it would be wise to withhold your rent, because air conditioning may not be covered by the warranty of habitability.
You could bring an HP action in housing court, to get the air conditioner repaired or replaced. Or you could have the air conditioner repaired, or if the repair is too expensive for an older unit, you could purchase a new or used air conditioner.
Then you could sue the landlord in small claims court for the service call and repairs, or for the service call and a replacement unit. It would be difficult to prove the cost of the electricity used by the landlord's defective air conditioner, but you should also make it a part of the small claims suit.
: I just started my lease and my conditioner will not cool the place below 78 degrees.
: I bought a thermemeter and put it in front of the output and the output is at 78 degrees.
: The input in at 80 degrees. I have been living here for a week and the landlord still hasn't
: done anything about it. I have called him twice and he keeps saying he is going to do something about
: it, but hasn't. It is too hot in here. I have to live with all my blinds closed and no lights on for it
: to even get below 81 degrees. Is this right? Does he need to repair my A/C? My A/C runs constantly and I
: have a feeling that my utilities bill is going to be extremely high. What are my rights?
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