Know your legal rights as a tenant when the A/C goes out

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - For two days this week, the Mid-South reached record heat levels.

During those days, dozens of calls came into the WMC newsroom about apartment complexes with no air.

So, WMC asked what you should do and what are your rights as renters in that situation.

According to city code, when air conditioning facilities are provided in units, the owner of the air conditioning facility is required to ensure the air conditioning are properly installed, safely maintained, and in good working condition.

If the property owner fails to do this, the first thing you do is call 311. That's when an inspector is dispatched to determine whether or not there is an actual infraction of the code.

If there is, in fact, a code violation, a violation order is issued requiring the property owner to resolve the problem.

Attorneys at Memphis Area Legal Services said if you go through all of those steps and your landlord fails to provide the service, you can give them a written notice specifying the breach.

You can also do one of several things like asking for a deduction cost in rent or getting substitute housing while excused from paying rent.

You are only able to do this once there's a written notice and it's been proven the landlord and has shown that the condition was not caused by the tenant.

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