For folks who rent in an apartment that has a pre-installed air conditioner, you might want to know your rights to getting it replaced or fixed especially when the summer season is nearing. If you’ll have the AC fixed, what about the share of its cost from your rent? If you’re asking your landlord or landlady and they don’t respond, who is the next person you can talk to in this regard?
This article will answer those questions and help you with similar situations when it comes to the AC in your apartment.
People can die from heat-related conditions, and one is heat stroke. In July 1995, about 700 people in Chicago died during a scorching week while in the summer of 2003 in Europe, over 52,000 people were killed from heat.
Air conditioning is considered an amenity or necessity depending on your area and medical condition. Virtually all houses have central AC installed and during summer, the number maintenance issue is a broken AC, which is why wise homeowners get their AC fixed or tuned up even before summer starts. However, getting it fixed or repaired isn’t that simple since there are guidelines under Federal Energy.
In states with scorching and dry climates, it is the landlord’s responsibility to have the AC in their apartments repaired if it affects the health and safety of their tenants. Below is a law regarding ACs in rented apartments and “landlord/tenant law.”
The law for landlord/tenant differs since depending on the state governing it so when you rent, it is necessary for you to make yourself aware of the laws applicable to you. Although the law for renting differs in each state, they all have one thing in common: landlords should make sure that their apartments are fit for living, safe, and clean.
In some areas, it is required to have a written document of the rental agreements. It is crucial to have your appliances checked by a maintenance professional during your first few weeks in your new apartment and insist on getting a contract with a maintenance company so there won’t be any delay when you need something fixed.
It is also important to carefully think about the things that you need so that the landlord knows what to maintain and whatnot before you start the contract. If the owner isn’t willing to address the things that make the apartment comfortable for you, then you should look somewhere else.
If the AC is preinstalled or has been there before you started renting, then it is part of the lease and therefore, should be maintained by the landlord.
If your landlord refuses to address your concern about the AC especially during heat crisis, make sure to seek legal advice before taking action. Sometimes, researching on the internet isn’t enough or applicable so make sure to find a lawyer to help you out especially if you live in a state that has a tenants’ association.
Here are some practices that are applicable in most conflicts despite the variations of state laws:
- Re-read your lease contract to clarify what are the landlord and tenant responsibilities for repairs.
- Jot down the dates when you had problems and left messages.
- Be polite in approaching your landlord. It can affect the way they respond and consider. If you are going to send your landlord letters, make sure to keep copies.
- Consult a housing counselor before doing something against your landlord.