Calling an HVAC Service as a Tenant in a Home

What happens if your HVAC system isn't working and your landlord refuses to fix it? Air conditioning repair services may be covered under your Landlord Tenant code, especially if there are certain temperatures that are too hot or too cold in which to live. You may be able to take everything into your own hands, but you need to check your rights first.

Determine Whether It's a Habitation Issue

Your local Landlord Tenant code will outline what temperature a home needs to be kept in. If your home is getting hotter than the temperature listed for safe habitation, then your landlord is required to fix the problem as soon as possible. Give your landlord notice that your HVAC system isn't working, document this notice, and give your landlord the appropriate amount of time to fix it. This is usually 24 to 72 hours and will also be outlined in the Landlord Tenant code.

Call Your Local Tenant's Rights Advocacy Group

Every state has a tenant's rights group that offers free advice. Your first step should be to contact this group and consult with them about your situation. If your landlord is aware of your issue and has refused to fix it, it's likely that you'll be able to fix it on your own. However, you should wait for the advocacy group to give you the go-ahead, so you know you're doing the right thing according to your local laws.

Call an HVAC Service

If your landlord has been notified and still hasn't fixed the problem, it's time to fix the problem yourself. You can call for air conditioning repair services to fix the problem and deduct the amount that you pay from your rent. However, you do need to keep very strict records regarding this. Make sure the air conditioning repair service gives you a detailed receipt regarding the fix. If your landlord requests the receipt, you'll have all of the back-ups for the transaction.

Alternatively, it is possible to move out of your property and withhold rent for the amount of time that the HVAC system goes without repair. One way or another, though, an HVAC system is often considered to be a required system and your landlord is required to either repair it or replace it with another option. You can get a quote for air conditioning repair and present it to your landlord in advance to encourage them to complete the repairs in a timely fashion.