No A/C in Nevada

Julie lives in Nevada and rents an apartment.

She signed a lease and must pay $1,200 per month for rent to her landlord. On January 1st her A/C stopped working and she immediately informed her landlord to request it be repaired. Three months have gone by and the landlord has yet to repair the A/C unit. It is now beginning to warm up and Julie is concerned of the impending summer heat. In Nevada, temperatures can quickly rise to over 120+ degrees during the summer. Julie does not wish to abandon her apartment.

    1. May Julie withhold her rent? Why or why not?
    2. What are Julie's legal options in the situation to get her A/C fixed? Please feel free to also research NV law when answering the question.

Nevada Statutes tell us that if the Nevada Statutes, or the rental agreement requires the landlord to supply air conditioning and there is a willful, or neglectful failure to do so, pursuant to the notification procedures outlined in the statute, the tenant has available remedies. [1] Because the fact pattern does not specify whether or not there was a written agreement between the parties for the landlord to supply air conditioning, I will focus on statutory requirements.

The Nevada Warranty of Habitability states that “at all times, the landlord shall maintain the dwelling in habitable condition.” [2] Importantly, not only does the warranty define habitability, [3] the warranty specifies that if air-conditioning is supplied, or required by to be supplied by landlord, the landlord bears the burden to maintain the air-conditioning in good repair. [4] The inference from the fact pattern is that the landlord did supply the air-conditioning. Because of this inference, when the landlord failed to act within the prescribed forty-eight-hour time period to repair the air-conditioning, [5] he was in breach of the warranty. Because of this fact, the tenant had the right to pursue applicable remedies.

The question now becomes one of whether the tenant’s remedy includes a withholding of rents.  After the tenant delivers the proper notice detailing the inhabitable conditions the landlord has failed to remedy, the landlord has fourteen days to remedy the inhabitable condition. [6] After fourteen days, if the landlord has not remedied, or used his best efforts to remedy the condition the tenant may withhold the rent until the condition is remedied, or a good faith effort to remedy the condition has been made. [7]

Additional legal remedies the tenant could pursue include repairing the air conditioning and deducting the repairs from the rent. [8] The tenant could also recover actual damages, “including damages based upon the lack of use of the premises or the diminution of the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.” [9] While this particular remedy does not seem to be a directly relevant remedy to effectuate the repair of the air conditioning, it does allow the tenant to recover based on the landlord’s failure to act. This remedy is an effective deterrent to help compel the landlord to repair the air conditioning.


[1] Nev. Rev. Stat. § 118A.380(1), (2010).

[2] Nev. Rev. Stat. § 118A.290(1), (2010).

[3] Nev. Rev. Stat. § 118A.290(1), (2010).

[4] Nev. Rev. Stat. § 118A.290(1)(i), (2010).

[5] Nev. Rev. Stat., supra, note 1.

[6] Nev. Rev. Stat. § 118A.355(1), (2010).

[7] Nev. Rev. Stat. § 118A.355(1)(d), (2010).

[8] Nev. Rev. Stat., supra, note 1, at § 118A.380.

[9] Id.

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