As a tenant in Louisville, Kentucky, you can leverage certain rights to your advantage if the AC stops working. By law, a landlord in this state must ensure that your rental unit is safe to live in, and much of the time, this means the AC must work. Keep reading to learn exactly how long a landlord can leave the AC broken and what you can do about it.
How Long can Landlord Leave AC Broken?
When a landlord makes a rental unit available in the state of Kentucky, he or she is not required by law to provide air conditioning. However, the landlord must keep all HVAC equipment running properly. Therefore, it’s so important to check for an AC in a unit before signing a rental agreement. Most times, landlords install AC and include it as part of the rental agreement to make the property more desirable to prospective tenants.
If the rental agreement explicitly states that the unit comes with air conditioning, then any time the AC breaks down, the landlord is then required by law to fix it. Keep in mind, however, that rental payments can’t be behind to require the landlord to fix a broken AC. Once you make a request in writing to have a broken AC fixed, the landlord then has 14 days to pay for and perform the repair.
How to Ask Landlord to Fix AC
If the AC breaks down in your rental unit, the first and most important thing for you to do is document the issue in writing and submit a request to your landlord to have the unit fixed. Once you make a request in writing, the landlord has 14 days to repair the AC or install a new one.
There are several factors that impact whether you have the right to ask the landlord to fix a broken AC. Above all, and as mentioned above, you can’t be behind on your monthly rental payments. If you are, the landlord is then, by law, no longer under obligation to fix the AC.
The broken AC issue must fit the category of a major repair (or considered a major hospitality problem), for the landlord to be responsible for fixing it. Additionally, the cause of the broken AC must stem from a mechanical issue or a result of something the landlord did. You cannot require a landlord to fix a broken AC that stems from the fault of the tenant.
Can Kentucky Renters Withhold Rent for No AC?
In Louisville, tenants are legally allowed to withhold rent from a landlord if the AC breaks down and 14 days have passed since making a formal request in writing to have the unit fixed. Do remember, though, that this only applies if the rental agreement outlines the fact that an AC system exists in the unit, and if all rental payments are up to date and not behind.
In the event you decide to withhold rent for a broken AC, you can do so until the issue gets fixed. If the AC isn’t repaired and 14 days have passed since you made a formal request to have the issue fixed, you can then legally vacate the premises and your rental agreement with no negative repercussions, such as losing a security deposit, etc.
You also have the option to pay for and perform the repair yourself only if 14 days pass since making a formal request to have the issue fixed. If you do, make sure to document all repairs and keep any related receipts. You can then inform the landlord that the repair has been made and deduct the cost of the repair and equipment from your rental payment obligations. You can show documentation and receipts to prove you covered the cost of the repair.
Simple Ways to Keep the AC Working
Just because the landlord must keep the AC working doesn’t mean he or she must perform all maintenance tasks. You can easily perform some maintenance tasks to extend the life of the AC in your apartment or rental home and keep your energy bills to a minimum.
Change the filter
Change the AC filter once every 30 to 60 days to ensure the system runs with optimal energy efficiency. Your landlord will likely pay for the filter.
Call When Hearing Strange Noises
Any time the AC makes a strange noise that you aren’t accustomed to you should call your landlord to schedule an HVAC inspection immediately.
The more dirt and dust in the air, the harder the AC must work to keep you cool. Cleaning regularly is an excellent way to deter repairs and breakdowns.
Breckinridge Heating & Cooling helps thousands of clients each year with fixing broken ACs. Providing optimal comfort since 1954, our company is here to assist with all your HVAC needs. We provide a wide range of heating and cooling services, including repairs and maintenance, as well as air purification, duct cleaning, heat pump service, and ductless mini-split repairs and installation.
If your AC is broken, call us now to speak with an experienced HVAC technician.