I would not have this problem at an ASHRAE convention!
May 26, 2016 12:23 PM   Subscribe

How long does my Landlord have to fix the central AC.

I live in Michigan. I tested the unit two days ago, no power to the outside fan and submitted maintence request.
I just wonder how long before I can take my own action to remedy the problem. The excuse on Landlord side is the AC guys truck broke.
In summery: what is a reasonable time frame before I get all legal. The landlords have a spotty record but have done well on the little stuff.
posted by clavdivs to Law & Government (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It depends on jurisdiction. 72 hours is typical, but if there are extenuating circumstances, such as 100 degree days or it's freezing outside it may need to happen sooner.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:27 PM on May 26, 2016

Per the Michigan Legislature's Tenants and Landlords: A Practical Guide (68-page PDF):
Landlord must make all repairs to the premises that, in Landlord’s sole judgment, are required by law. Landlord must make every effort to do so within a reasonable time. Whenever repairs are delayed for reasons beyond the Landlord’s control, the Tenant’s obligations are not affected, nor does any claim accrue to Tenant against the Landlord.
The state law isn't very helpful:
(1) In every lease or license of residential premises, the lessor or licensor covenants:

(a) That the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties.

(b) To keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license, and to comply with the applicable health and safety laws of the state and of the local unit of government where the premises are located, except when the disrepair or violation of the applicable health or safety laws has been caused by the tenants wilful or irresponsible conduct or lack of conduct.
So it sounds like the landlord is at least trying to make a reasonable attempt, but if it isn't done tomorrow, I'd call a lawyer (if you're near Ann Arbor or Lansing, there will be plenty with landlord-tenant experience).
posted by Etrigan at 12:30 PM on May 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is AC required by law though? I've never lived anywhere where it is (and I have lived some places that get pretty dang hot in the summer, although granted I've never lived in the South). I currently live in Boston which I think gets similarly hot to Michigan in the summer and we get no landlord-provided AC (we have to provide our own window units).
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:55 PM on May 26, 2016

A/C may not be required, but if you lease an apartment where A/C is already provided, the landlord may have to maintain it. However, I'd check the lease, which may specifically address the issue.
posted by praemunire at 1:01 PM on May 26, 2016

AC was advertised when we rented.
Yeah, I'm thinking good intent is still there. I'm just gathering some data, bad experience with last landlord.
posted by clavdivs at 1:12 PM on May 26, 2016

Are there dates the landlord makes the A/C available?

Perhaps he turned the compressor off at the breaker and was planning to power it back up on June 1st or something.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:14 PM on May 26, 2016

No switch on date, I've seen that before on leases. The neighbors unit is running and the run off is pooling around the newly installed partition wall in the basement.
Which I reported today.
posted by clavdivs at 2:21 PM on May 26, 2016

I also live in Boston, and, yeah, it gets damn hot during the summer, and it racks up our electric bill. But if you're living in a climate where it's not just a 2 or 3 month inconvenience, I'd bet maintaining functioning AC units is something required by law, just as maintaining working heat during the winter is obligatory during the winter months in New England.
posted by chocolatespaghetti at 5:15 PM on May 26, 2016

*Y'all* are mistaken about any laws requiring AC I think.. at least here now in semi-tropical South Georgia, or when I lived in Florida some time ago. The building codes (almost) all call for heat, but not for AC. When I lived in the Florida Keys, heat was not required. Understandable.
Usually it is on the tenant to get a window unit if they want AC and central is not provided.
I rent out some property (with central, window units are second biggest cause of fires after kitchen fires). My generic lease that I use requires me to keep the place in good order. I'd do that anyway, changing tenants usually costs a month to a month and a half of lost rent.
posted by rudd135 at 6:08 PM on May 26, 2016

Well, if you advertised AC and did not provide, that's false advertising and breach of contract.
posted by clavdivs at 8:22 PM on May 27, 2016

Also, the AC units are there and even if we offered to pay for the service, we couldn't as management said "They do that" which is admition right there.
posted by clavdivs at 8:25 PM on May 27, 2016

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