Those of you who live in hot climates know how hot things can get in the middle of summer. As a renter, this might become a bigger challenge if the place you're renting doesn't have proper air-conditioning. Without way to cool off in your rented home or apartment, it could become a danger to your health.
So, is your landlord required to provide air-conditioning? This is something they may have to adhere to for your unit to stay habitable under state law. Here's more about what this means, plus how to go about requesting air-conditioning maintenance before the worst heat hits.
Which States Don't Require Air-Conditioning in Rental Units?
You might find it surprising that not all states require landlords to put in air conditioners. In California, for instance, they're not legally required to put in A/C, though required to maintain one if already installed. This only happens if mentioned in your initial rental agreement.
It's unfortunate not all states known for their hot summers have laws requiring landlords to install an air-conditioner. As we all know, California can become scorching in the middle of summer. The same goes in often hot Georgia. Landlords don't have to legally install A/C there, but must legally keep an existing one in good working order. If the landlord doesn't fix the a/c, you can sue them for breach of contract.
What About Other States with Hot Summers?
The above laws in California and Georgia aren't uniform nationwide. Some states have laws making it mandatory for landlords to add a cooling system in your rental. In Arizona, where temperatures can often reach above 120F, your landlord has to provide a/c or violate state law.
Also, what about places like Southern Florida, one of the hottest states in America once reaching July and August? Surprisingly, they're one of the states that doesn't force landlords to provide air-conditioning. State law oddly doesn't consider it a right, other than heat in the winter.
As discouraging as this is, you still have rights as a renter. If you feel your health became harmed by not having A/C, you can take your landlord to court, as long as you have provable health records.
Just like in other states, Florida landlords must keep an existing A/C working as part of your rental agreement. Give your landlord a call and politely ask them for repair, or fill out a maintenance form if they have one.