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Re: Help!!! My A/C has been broken for 42 days!!!
on October 3, 2017 @13:46
First, You should seek legal advice. Many Attorneys in Tampa offer free consultations.
What needs to occur by Florida law is that the tenant (you) needs to issue a "seven day notice of non compliance" letter to the landlord. By law the landlord needs to make any listed repair within seven days, or the tenant (you) may terminate the lease. An attorney can help draft your letter.
Your landlord is in breach of the lease for failure to maintain the air conditioning. Habitability is not what is involved here, but contract law. The landlord is required to maintain what was included in the lease.
The "seven day notice" allows you also to withhold rent and allows a defense if the landlord tries to evict you.
If this proceeds to court, a "motion to determine rent" can be filed with the court to determine if any rent is due if at all.
The courts by law, generally allow the tenant the greater of damages; three months rent or actual damages, court cost and attorney fees. This could cost the landlord many thousands of dollars.
42 days without air conditioning is egregious as the landlord could have called more than one repair service.
You may claim the failure to maintain the refrigerator as a separate violation. That would allow you addition damages under Florida as each violation is counted separately.
If you feel that you are not receiving prompt repair service due to your protected class, you may wish to inquire into filing a discrimination complaint. For example, your landlord is non responsive because you have children, single parent, etc.
In the end, you may need to consider moving. You can ask the court to require the landlord to pay moving cost and any difference in rent you may incur by having to rent at a higher amount.
Again, an attorney would be you best bet to handle these issues.
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