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acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? - Landlord Forum thread 222015

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acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by eloisa (sc) on April 22, 2011 @08:50

Hey my tenant called me yesterday after 5pm to tell me the ac is not cooling. For the sounds of it it seems like it needs to be recharged so there's some form of leak somewhere.
Anyway, we are all over this, we have an hvac tech my hubby knows well and he's the one we've used in the past because we trust him, problem is, he doesn't have any appointments available till next Tuesday.
My tenants are at the rental part time right now because they are still miving in and they're going to wait till the kids school year is over to completely move so I don't think it's a huge impossission but who knows.
I wanted to hear what your experience is in the matter and if you think that's too long of a time to wait? Thanks!
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Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by Jake on April 22, 2011 @09:16 [ Reply ]
If your husband's friend is not available to immediately make the repair, call someone who can. Being without AC from Friday through Tuesday is "not being all over it." What would you do if it were your house?
Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by Eric (MN) on April 22, 2011 @09:45 [ Reply ]
Without knowing what state you are in, and what the expected temps are, it's tough to say. In MN, we have yet to get above 60 degrees for 2011. Most days, we still don't get to 50, and I had a tenant complain about the A/C two weeks ago.

It is legal to wait until next Tuesday, but is a recharge going to fix it? It may be a relay or a bad compressor. Or a bad leak. Maybe that will take another week.

Talk to your tenants. Explain the situation, if they are reasonable tenants it should not be an issue. Bring over a fan if needed.

Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by Anonymous on April 22, 2011 @10:13 [ Reply ]
I don't know what part of SC you're in, but here in NC we really don't need AC yet. We've been opening windows in my home. Today is actually chilly outside. It is supposed to get up to 87 Monday, however. I think it is reasonable to wait until Tuesday. If it were dead of summer with full on Southern heat and humidity, I would not. :-) I would do my best to find someone same day. I've had a lot of luck with Service Magic myself. They are a screening and referral service on the web if you're not familiar with them.
Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by K (FL) on April 22, 2011 @18:52 [ Reply ]
Today was the 1st time I've turned the ac on this year. And it's just for comfort, not a necessity yet. You're up north. What does your tenant need with ac this early?
And waiting until Tuesday is NOTHING. It's about a 2 week wait (or longer) around here for any ac work. I had to wait 3 weeks in August once.
Hey, I have to wait until next week just to find out when the pool guy can come fix my pool. That's no chlorine for 2 weeks so far and who knows how long it will end up being. And this was the guy who bothered to answer his phone. 5 other pool guys never got back to us.
Your tenant sounds spoiled.
Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by Anonymous on April 22, 2011 @22:22 [ Reply ]
I have units in AZ where it gets into the 120's in the summer. I keep portable A/C units in storage on-site in case someone's a/c goes out. We can get the portables up and running within an hour.

In our area it can be a life or death situation.

I also keep a 3500 watt generator on-site in case the power goes out. In a major emergency we could cool a downstairs unit (better insulated) and cram everyone in the building in there if necessary or until the city opened shelters.

Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by Bryan (Ia) on April 23, 2011 @13:32 [ Reply ]
People seem to forget that AC is not a habitablity issue, it is only a comfort issue. Humans lived the world over without AC for thousands of years without AC. Some states may have AC codified as habitablity but none that I'm aware of.

I have a SFH remodeled into a duplex that 20 years ago and before nobody bothered with even window units. I recently added central air to make it easier to rent, but not as a habitablity thing.

I always think about what my great-grandmother used to say before she or anybody in the family had AC. "I prefer cold weather to hot. You can always put on enough clothes to stay warm. But you can only take off so much and you're still hot!" Proves that while you might be hot, it still habitable.

Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by Anonymous (CA) on April 23, 2011 @15:05 [ Reply ]
Some state laws actually allow the landlord to require the tenant be responsible for the unit and thus pay repairs. But if you told the renters that the house has AC, then it's your responsibility to maintain it.

I guess it depends on the tenants (and the lease). If they're patient, they can wait until Tuesday. If, say, they have toddlers sensitive to lack of heat, they won't.

If you have a month-to-month and the tenants turn out to be "high maintenance", you can always bump up the rent to cover these costs. Conversely, you should have some sort of record or budget of how much you should spend for repairs et al., to see if the tenants are causing you to spend more money than you anticipated.

Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by Bryan (Ia) on April 23, 2011 @19:56 [ Reply ]
3 business days for a reputable, qualified HVAC person to arrive is not unusual. They tend to stay busy. Also well within my state's required timeframe of 7 days for a nonhabitablity issue.
Re: acceptable time-frame for hvac repair? by 574-Brad (IN) on April 23, 2011 @21:53 [ Reply ]
I think if someone can't survive in 120 degree AZ heat, they shouldn't live there. I personally hate FL just because of the heat & humidity.

I think you are being more than reasonable. You do not need to kiss every tenants a$$. Especially if you are renting them a unit under market value. I rent all my units at or ABOVE market value, and I wouldn't even flinch at someone having to wait three days to have C/A repaired.

I would apologize to them though, just to be nice, not because you did anything wrong. It's not your fault the air broke. Houses break... it happens. They called you after business hours Fri for a non-emergency. The way I look at it, if you have it fixed by 5 pm Tuesday that was less than two days, as off-hours/weekends/holidays don't count for non-emergencies.

One of my tenants went from Thurs evening to Sun evening with only two small 110 space heaters in a 1000 sqft house in December. I believe it was high 30's outside. The 40-yr old furnace element went out and I couldn't get parts for it. They were just lucky I have a decent HVAC guy that picked up a new unit Sat AM and installed it on the weekend, otherwise she might have waited longer.

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