As a renter, you’ll want to make sure you have a working air conditioning system, especially in SWFL where the temperatures are hot year round. But does a landlord have to provide air conditioning in Collier County, Florida? Before you rent, big issues like cooling and heating systems are something you should know if you are responsible for or not. That’s the question we’ll answer for you here so you know both the tenant rights and responsibilities in an area where we deal with extreme heat on a pretty regular basis.
Keep in mind that this blog post is for informational purposes and we are not providing legal advice. Please look into specific laws and additional information about your city, county, and state (if different than Florida), as the legal requirements may differ.
Does a Landlord Have to Provide Air Conditioning in Collier County, FL?
The short answer here is, no. Landlord-tenant laws in Florida do not name a working AC or timely repair (or any repair at all) as the property owner or landlord’s responsibility. If there were terms agreed upon at the time of the rental agreement, in writing, you can hold the landlord or property manager responsible for the timely, good repair of the unit. Unfortunately, few people tend to think about things like a broken air conditioner when they’re looking at rentals and the AC is working. Part of the allure of a rental is typically that someone else, like a management company, is responsible for any maintenance or repair. But when it comes down to it, your landlord is not required to fix or replace your air conditioner in a timely manner, or at all.
Many landlords will keep their property’s air conditioner in good working order as a selling point. Ultimately though, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to find out in advance of signing a lease and either make an agreement for the landlord to be responsible or be prepared for regular maintenance, needed repairs, and potentially even replacement of the air conditioning unit.
Tips for Choosing Rental Properties with Air Conditioning in Mind
1. Negotiate your Lease Agreement
Before you sign a tenancy agreement, ask your landlord what they will take responsibility for when it comes to AC maintenance, repair, and replacement. What you agree to at lease signing will be what you will have to adhere to for the time frame of your lease agreement. If they know you’re going to walk about away, you may find they will take more responsibility. If they don’t, it’s up to you know decide if it’s worth it to you depending on your financial situation, the property itself, and any other conditions you need to consider.
2. Ask to See AC Repairs and Maintenance History
If you’re considering renting a home, apartment, condo, or other dwelling where you’ll be responsible for the cost of repair, maintenance, and/or replacement of the AC unit, find out about the condition of the unit. Regular maintenance is basically a requirement for a reliable AC unit. You don’t just want a functioning air conditioner, you want an air conditioner that is in good working condition. If the landlord can’t provide a record of the air filters being changed regularly, regular professional HVAC maintenance, proof of any air conditioner repairs, or when the unit was last replaced, you may not want to agree to be responsible for the unit.
3. Request an AC Inspection
You will most likely be responsible for the cost of this, but if you’re considering taking on financial responsibility for the AC in a rental, it may be worth the expense. If your prospective landlord agrees, Dolphin Cooling can inspect the unit and make sure it’s a good working air conditioner that you can rely on.
4. Consider How Long Your Lease Will be
If you’re signing a short-term lease you may feel more comfortable taking the chance on being responsible for your AC unit. If you can see proof of routine maintenance, 6 months isn’t that much time and you may not have a single issue with your AC in that amount of time. Again, weigh the pros and cons considering your personal circumstances.
If you choose to bear responsibility for the AC in your rental, be sure to hire a professional maintenance person to perform regular upkeep. Dolphin Cooling offers maintenance plans that will make it easy for you to hold up your end of the deal. It’s a good idea to start off with an AC tune up and have any necessary repairs done before things progress so your repair costs are minimal. Contact Dolphin Cooling today to have your rental property cooling system inspected and maintenance performed to get you off to a great start.