Florida is well-known for its hot summers and humid air, which is why an AC is truly a life savior during the warm season. But like any other appliance, an AC can start to malfunction after a prolonged period of time and needs to be either replaced or repaired. When it comes to Pace-ac-repair or replacement, the situation gets a little more complicated once you are a tenant.
In case you are a tenant, your landlord must fix the situation in seven days, according to Florida laws. But there are certain rules you should be aware of before contacting your homeowner.
Know Your Rights
Before moving into any residence in the U.S., an essential piece of advice would be to learn your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. More than that, read the contract between you and your landlord very carefully. According to the Landlord-Tenant Act of each state, landlords must respect and maintain specific housing standards when renting a place. These standards start from the structural components, like walls and floors, up to services and appliances.
There is a subunit of the Landlord-Tenant Act called the Implied Warranty of Habitability for such services. This law ensures that a rental unit remains habitable during the span of a tenant’s contract.
It forbids landlords from renting out an apartment without basic amenities, including power, heat, water, a roof and windows, and a secure door. Most states in the United States include an implied warranty with rental housing. To rent a unit to a tenant, the landlord must promise certain things regarding the property’s condition.
However, the downside is that AC is not included in the list of services stated in the law in Florida. But if the AC is listed as a covered appliance in the lease and it is broken, then the landlord has the responsibility to check the situation and then fix it.
Defend Your Rights
According to state law, you must first notify your landlord of the problem and allow seven days to resolve it. If nothing happens after a week, you have two options:
- You can withhold partial rent until the problem is fixed, or
- You can terminate the lease and move out
Even though it is not required by law, you should notify your landlord of the situation by certified letter to confirm delivery. Be precise about the problem in the letter, and let them know that you’ll be terminating the rental arrangement if they don’t fix it.
Reach For a Contractor
In the other scenario, when your landlord does not include the AC in your lease’s covered appliances, you have to take the matter into your own hands. The first step you should consider is to consult the local tenancy branch for an AC replacement. If your AC unit is not severely damaged in order to be replaced or if you want to keep the unit you already have, the best idea is to reach for an AC contractor for maintenance and repair.
A contractor ensures your AC maintenance by checking the amount of your refrigerant, cleaning the evaporator coil, inspecting and replacing the air filter, and carefully inspecting the unit to catch any problems early on while they are still treatable. Don’t try to fix your AC unit on your own; instead, reach for a professional.