In Houston, where summers are extremely hot and humid, Andy Teas, vice president of public affairs for the Houston Apartment Association, a trade association representing homeowners, management companies, developers and other professionals in the rental housing industry, says that „nearly 100 percent” of apartments are equipped with central air conditioning. It depends on the state. In most places, the owner is not legally required to provide air conditioning. Many states classify air conditioners as a convenience rather than a right. It can be used to attract potential tenants, but is not required by law. If the air conditioner worked when moving in, the landlord must repair it if it breaks due to normal wear and tear, natural events or other causes beyond the tenant`s control. A tenant must bear the cost of air conditioning repairs if the intentional or negligent behavior of the tenant or the tenant`s guests causes the damage. In these cases, the tenant can either pay for the repairs directly to the service technician or reimburse the landlord for the repairs made. Plus, he says, „broken air conditioners are the number one maintenance problem we see in the summer.” It is my understanding that in California, a landlord is not required to provide air conditioning to tenants.
And if a unit is broken, it does not make the property uninhabitable (although it is unpleasant). The standard use of repair and trigger would therefore not apply here. You can always ask the landlord if they are reducing the rent, but your landlord would do it out of kindness from their heart, not because they are obliged to do so. Here are some answers to a similar question, with references to california state laws. www.avvo.com/legal-answers/is-my-landlord-obligated-to-repair-my-a-c-immediat-1257050.html But it should always be the last resort. First of all, you must notify the owner several times and wait for the legally required reasonable period of time. Breaking a lease can have serious consequences, including legal action. Therefore, it is important to know the local laws and make sure that you are within your rights before doing anything drastic. If you install or keep an air conditioner against your landlord`s will, they can give you eviction notice. If your air conditioner is safe and no one in the building is damaged or disturbed, the landlord and tenants` committee should not allow them to evict you. But the law is not clear on this.
Hello. I was living in an apartment and my air conditioner broke one day. I asked my landlord to fix it because I know I didn`t do anything wrong because I`m still working. So maybe it was broken because it`s been bought for years. But my landlord doesn`t want to fix it. In this case, you should immediately contact your landlord and inform him of the problem. You can provide a temporary solution such as a fan or portable air conditioner until repairs can be made. But if nothing is done to remedy the situation expeditiously, it would be considered a violation of their responsibility as the owner. In states where air conditioning is mandatory, homeowners must replace a broken air conditioner within a reasonable amount of time.
Some States define what is reasonable (usually within 14 days), while others reserve the right to interpret it. For example, the owner in Arizona has only 5 calendar days to repair the air conditioner. But in California, an owner has up to 30 days. Pickard said the consequences of violating air conditioning rules, even under the protection of the new law, can be serious for tenants. Teas says that in Texas, a landlord`s responsibility is to „repair or fix” any condition that „materially affects the physical health and safety of an ordinary tenant.” It is recommended that before moving into a unit with air conditioning, you ask the landlord to specify a clause in your lease with a procedure to follow in case it stops working or needs to be repaired. Teas also notes that the change in federal energy guidelines makes repairing air conditioners more difficult than before, making it difficult to find the right fit for anyone looking for experienced commercial air conditioning experts without paying an arm and a leg. „You can`t just replace a part or inject it into a freon,” he says. Nowadays, the newest and most efficient parts need to change the compressor more often or make other important changes to update the entire system. While some people may consider air conditioners a necessary element, California law considers them a convenience. In other words, air conditioners are not needed in rental properties to make them habitable. Under the California Civil Code of 1941, habitable rental units must have functional gas, heat, electrical, and plumbing systems. hygienic conditions with adequate garbage containers; work sink, toilet and bath or shower; emergency and fire exits; functional smoke detectors and latch locks on all exterior doors.
Air conditioning is not on the list of features that owners must provide with an apartment, so tenants cannot force a landlord to install air conditioning. In the coolest regions of the country, air conditioning is considered a luxury disease, and therefore the owners are not required to provide it. Here`s an overview of air conditioning laws and how they vary from state to state. At the very least, make sure that the lease includes the full contact information of the owner and/or management company. A mobile phone number alone is not enough. Make sure you have a mailing address with an email address, if possible. Ask if there is an office that takes calls 24 hours a day. Who do you call in the middle of the night? Kellman strongly advises that no tenant should take action against a landlord without first seeking legal advice. Lawyer Kellman says he advises people who sign a lease to „step back” and think about what`s most important in a life situation. It will be different for each person, he says.
So, if you know that you are sensitive to heat and you will be very desperate without air conditioning, indicate in the lease: „The landlord will keep the air conditioner in good condition”. In addition to state law, cities can regulate rental practices by municipal ordinance. In the state of Wisconsin, for example, the landlord`s tenant practice is governed by several different administrative laws. Wisconsin as a whole does not have a large tenant population, but in the city of Madison, where the majority of residents are renters (U.S. Census, 2000), there is an additional set of codes that strengthen tenants` rights. In Madison, homeowners pay interest on a security deposit; In Oshkosh, all interest earned remains the responsibility of the owner. „I think there are a lot of tenants who maybe didn`t have air conditioning at all before the heat wave and were definitely not settled,” he said. „Now people get them, and that`s going to make the owners react.” According to a 2019 housing survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 86 percent of owner-occupied homes in the Portland metropolitan area were air-conditioned, compared to 66 percent of tenants` homes. The fact is that the law of landlords and tenants is complex. To answer any of the above questions or others that may arise in a particular situation, you need to dive into complicated legal territory. The following information provides a basic understanding of what`s at stake and points you in the right direction.