No heat in my apartment, can I not pay rent for the days my landlord didn't fix my heater?

I live in New Orleans, LA. My heater in my apartment broke Saturday, and I called my landlord. She said it would probably be Monday she could get it fixed. Fine, first business day of the week. Fine. Nobody fixed it Monday. The temperature actually then dropped that week below freezing (27 degrees). My house was unbearably cold. After much pestering her, she FINALLY fixed it thursday, after days of below freezing temperature.

My question is, can I LEGALLY not pay rent for the days in the month that the heat in my apartment was not working?

Please don't guess, does anyone actually KNOW the answer to this question?

3 years ago - 5 answers

Best Answer

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Not if she was making attempts to have it fixed. There is no magic wand.

3 years ago

Other Answers

If you continued to live in the apartment you must pay rent. You can ask for an abatement, but the landlord is not required to give you one. Having the heat fixed within 7 days in NOT considered unreasonable.

by reenzz - 3 years ago

You have to pay for the days without heat. You have a contract that says you will pay and the landlord has a contract that says she will fix problems. It may not have been as fast as you would have liked but it sounds like she made an honest effort to fix it. What if she called the heating company on Monday but they were busy and couldn't get to it - is that her fault? This sort of thing happens all the time and the problem has been solved. Now, if the roof would have caved in and you would have had to move that would be a different story.,

Generally if you have a complaint you need to put it in writing and give it to the city's housing department.


by Stephen T - 3 years ago

On you can look up landlord tenant laws for your state. You can always send your landlord a letter to request it. But I doubt you can deduct it legally, some law about living there for over a year, then you can have it fixed and deduct that amount from rent.

I always had emergency heat as a back up when I lived in apartments, usually an electric heater or an oil filled radiant. There are kerosene heaters too. I even kept my personal a/c window unit in storage, just in case the central air broke.

by Really....Really? - 3 years ago

No, you can never withold rent without a court order. If the landlord did not fix it within a reasonable amount of time (7 days is definitely reasonable), then you would have called the local health department to do an inspection and have the rental unit declared uninhabitable, since heating is required to make the unit habitable (legal to live in).

At this point, you would have gone to court to have rent prorated for the amount of time the house was uninhabitable. Since things never escalated this far, you have no recourse. Be glad your landlord actually fixed it, and within a reasonable time frame.

by cowgrl - 3 years ago