Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

The water cooler on the home I'm currently renting is going out, I notified the property manager of the problem with the unit its been 5 days now and its still not fixed. I told the property manager that I was going to deduct 25.00 per day that the cooler doesn't work he notified the property owner and the owner said he will not allow that. Am I in my legal right to deduct money from the rent without his approval until he fix's the problem. The property owner wast's time and declines most every repair that I bring to his attention the owner is worse than a slum lord.

Asked on 7/03/12, 1:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

No. Your landlord will be within his legal rights to evict you if you do not pay rent in full when due. The only time you can deduct from rent is after you pay to repair a problem that makes the premises uninhabitable after the landlord refuses to do so - but the list of things that make a property LEGALLY uninhabitable is MUCH shorter than most people think. A non-functioning water cooler does not make a property uninhabitable. Unless a property is legally uninhabitable you must pay rent when due in full and if you feel the landlord is in breach of your lease, you have to sue for damages.

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Answered on 7/03/12, 4:32 pm

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