Alexandria, VA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: Can I sue my apartment for not fixing AC for over a year. Causing financial and emotional harm.

Moving in on September of 2022 my wife and I had our first child. And we noticed the AC in our unit did not work as well as we wanted. By end of day our unit would be 80+ degrees which with a newborn was impossible to sleep at night. Maintenance would continue to state over the last year that it was due to the sun hitting the unit. This continued for over a year 30-40+ maintenance tickets later.

That all was until this last week a contractor came confirming what I thought since moving in. The duckwork was damaged causing heat and AC to escape into the space above. Which caused financial strain as I was paying 200-350$ a month on heating and cooling. After being told for over a year that the duck work was not damaged.

So is this a sue-able case. As financial and emotional stress was caused by an apartment’s inability to insure duck work was not damaged which would of kept from financial and emotional stress?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: First, you can sue anyone for almost anything (there can be a penalty if it's frivolous, however. Don't worry: your situation is not 'frivolous' in my opinion). The real question is whether you can succeed in that suit. I think you have a fair chance of success - nothing certain - but if you've got good records of each call and result of that call it will help your case.

I always recommend consulting an attorney. That said, you can file a 'tenant assertion' and ask the judge to refund a portion of the rent paid. The attorney you consult can explain further. I can't stress getting an attorney enough: statistics show that well over 80% of unrepresented consumers in civil court lose. Beware that some leases have you paying the landlord's attorneys fees or have other restrictions.

good luck.

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