Who Pays for Air Conditioner Repairs In A Rental Property
If you are renting or considering to rent your apartment/property, you are probably trying to gather as much information as possible regarding your rights and obligations. And considering the warm Australian climate, it is understandable that air conditioning to us is equally important as heating is to the rest of the world. There are several burning questions that need to be answered. For example, who is responsible for fixing a broken air conditioner? Who pays for repairment? Can I ask a landlord to install an air conditioner?
What are Renter’s and Landlord’s Rights and Responsibilities?
Landlord is obliged to keep furniture, dishwasher, stove, washing machine, fridge and air conditioner in functioning state. If any of these objects break, a tenant has to contact the apartment owner and inform them about the malfunction. The landlord then has to take all measures to repair the damage.
It is always a good idea to have the request in writing. If a landlord refuses to repair the broken piece, the tenant has the right to ask him or her for a rent reduction in exchange for fixing the device themselves. The alternative is to take the homeowner to court.
The exception is in case you’ve given up your rights by signing the lease. So, before any document signing, make sure that it says that the landlord is responsible for fixing the air conditioner in case it requires repairment. By the state law, a homeowner has to guarantee habitability of the property. If the aircon is broken, the apartment might no longer be habitable due to unbearable heat.
Besides the above mentioned appliances and furniture, a landlord is also responsible for plumbing.
The exceptions are in cases when renter is directly responsible for the damage due to improper handling and maintenance of the device. Renters are obliged to keep the premises clean and to handle the devices according to manufacturer’s recommendations. As for the air conditioners, that means cleaning the filter on a regular basis.
What if There is no Air Conditioner in the Apartment?
If you want to rent an apartment that does not have an air conditioner, you can ask your landlord to install one. This is what we call a property improvement. In that case, the homeowner has the right to ask you for extra money for the rent, which is usually 5 to $20 per week.
So to recap, according to the state law a landlord is obliged to repair a broken air conditioner, washing machine, dishwasher, stove, and other appliances provided by them. This also includes plumbing and furniture. The exception is when the lease says otherwise. On the other hand, a renter has to keep the premises clean and to maintain the devices according to manufacturers’ recommendations. If the malfunction occurs due to renter’s negligence, the landlord does not have to cover the costs of repairment.
To avoid any problems with your landlord or even lose a place to live, document every problem that occurs and make sure to keep the receipts of every repairment you have paid. If your aircon needs regular maintenance or repairment, do not hesitate to contact our team.