Who is accountable for HVAC upkeep in a rental unit?
Rental properties need regular care and service to keep their value and provide habitable living spaces. When you have the HVAC system in your home, then as a homeowner you know that handling all the associated needs is your responsibility.
Now when the same HVAC system is in a rental property, things get more confusing. For many landlords and tenants, it’s hard to understand who is responsible for what when it comes to maintaining the HVAC unit. Disputes are likely to follow.
In this article, we’ll explore the topic of HVAC maintenance and service in rental properties. Five Star Property Management shares insights on the domains of responsibility regarding the HVAC unit’s upkeep in rental units.
HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Every part of this system helps to establish normal life quality in the rental property. Now we’ll see how each of these HVAC components meshes with the various responsibilities in rental units.
Most state and local regulations are not demanding air conditioning in rental properties. This means that landlords won’t have to provide the system as a prerequisite of keeping the rental units habitable.
However, the important takeaway is that the landlord has to maintain the air conditioning unit once it’s already in the rental property. The property owner should ensure that the A/C unit works properly. Otherwise, negligence may result in a breach of contract.
Comfortable temperature in the living areas is an essential requirement for rental properties. Landlords have to ensure an adequate heat supply at all times. Note that the particular temperature requirements vary across the states and local municipalities.
When you own a rental property, it’s important to learn about the heating standards in your area. In some cases, there are seasonal differences in the required temperatures. Even temperature guidelines subject to time of day are not unheard of.
Ventilation is not something to be overlooked in a rental unit. When you have only heating without circulating the indoor air, you may put your tenants’ health at risk. Stagnant air is associated with mold growth, rot, and pest issues.
The main benefit of ventilation is that this system counters excess moisture in the rental property. The removal of humid conditions makes heating more efficient and cuts numerous health risks.
Landlords can install a central ventilation system that draws in the air from outdoors. As a viable alternative, it’s possible to get a dryer that comes with an exterior vent.
Tenants have their part to play in ensuring great ventilation too. They should frequently air the rooms by opening all their doors and windows. Whenever someone takes a hot bath or cooks a big dinner, it’s best to let in some fresh air again.
HVAC emergencies are linked to landlords’ responsibility to ensure their rental property is livable. A common emergency involves clogged lines. The signs of this issue include damp air and a water leak from the indoor unit. The landlord has to get it promptly fixed.
Ignoring the HVAC emergency on part of the landlord could be seen as negligence. In some states and local municipalities, this situation allows the tenant to withhold rent payments.
Now we are going over the typical HVAC problems that need immediate attention in rental properties:
You can add a clause to the lease agreement that explains the rules behind the HVAC maintenance procedures. As a landlord, you can acquire full responsibility or share the upkeep duties with your renters.
Landlords are responsible for proper heating and basic ventilation in the rental property. Air conditioning isn’t an essential service, but once it’s in the rental unit, the landlord should maintain it as needed.
Whenever there is a serious emergency, the landlord should respond and solve the issue. Otherwise, the inaction may be defined as negligence.
The lease agreement can stipulate whether the HVAC upkeep is shared or only the landlord’s responsibility. In the case of shared duties, the tenant takes care of the minor maintenance tasks.