Who is Responsible for HVAC Repairs: The Tenant or Property Management Company?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems (also known as HVAC) are vital to making a property habitable. HVAC systems are responsible for maintaining a comfortable temperature, regulating the humidity, and maintaining the air quality in a space. For the property manager, the HVAC system requires particular attention. The ability to keep a rental unit at a comfortable temperature year-round is key to having happy tenants. But who is responsible for HVAC repairs and maintenance?

A well-maintained HVAC system is essential for keeping your rental property in good condition. The professionals at Bravo Property Management and Realty have checked it all out for you, so there are no questions, whether you are renting or managing the property.

Maintaining a Rental Property

Homeownership takes continuous maintenance and hard work to keep it running safely and efficiently. Property maintenance can be very time-consuming and expensive. However, rental property maintenance can be harder to keep up with. 

As a landlord, it can be confusing to determine your responsibility versus your tenants’ responsibility. The occupants are required to inform their landlord when something needs to be repaired. Ignoring specific problems can cause them to grow into broader issues. Ultimately, this will cost more time and money later to properly repair them. So, for the owner or manager of the property, it is in their best financial interest to properly maintain the HVAC system of a home.

When there is an issue with the heating or AC system, an HVAC Company should be called as soon as possible.

HVAC Repairs

The Lease Agreement Matters

With most property management questions, it is important to first check the lease agreement before taking action. Leases can be different from property-to-property and state-to-state. However, in most lease agreement language, the responsibility falls on the landlord. 

Most often, landlords are responsible for HVAC maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Depending on the terms agreed on in the lease, there is a chance that not every aspect of care falls on the property manager’s shoulders. Some of the most common repairs and maintenance may include the following:

Thermostat Malfunctions

If the thermostat is not working right, it can indicate several issues with the HVAC unit. Of course, the thermostat regulates temperature. It sends signals to the air conditioner or heating units to turn on when the temperature drops below or rises above a certain level. A low battery could be the cause of the malfunction, or the problem could require more in-depth troubleshooting. 

When the batteries are weak in a thermostat, the heating and cooling system may not receive the signals when it is time for them to turn on. Replacing the batteries in a thermostat is an easy fix and can be done by the tenant. 

However, if the thermostat has a more prominent issue like wiring or system malfunction, it is likely the landlord’s responsibility to replace or fix it. In that case, an HVAC Technician can be called out to handle the issue.

Air Filter Replacement

Replacing the air filter in an HVAC system is an integral part of regular maintenance. Maintaining good air quality throughout the house, eliminating allergens, contaminants, or other debris prolongs the unit’s lifespan and increases its efficiency. The air filter should be replaced once every month for certain filters and once each three months for other filter brands. This number varies depending on multiple variables such as pets, seasons, construction, etc. Air filters are often the responsibility of the tenant to buy and replace.

HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance and regular check-ups are a part of keeping the unit running smoothly. Regular maintenance of air conditioning systems and furnaces can directly impact the lifespan of an HVAC system. This is usually taken care of by the landlord. 

However, depending on the agreement of the lease, the landlord and tenants may share this responsibility. Regularly scheduled maintenance helps to catch issues early on and reduce the cost of large scale repairs.

HVAC Unit Repairs and Replacement

Extensive repairs and replacements will almost always be the responsibility of the Property Management Company.

Just as a homeowner needs to maintain the HVAC system to sell their house, a landlord needs to keep up with the unit to properly care for tenants. However, as mentioned previously, a well-working HVAC system means more than the comfort of your tenants. It can prevent mildew and mold damage. Additionally, keeping up with repairs can prolong the lifespan of the unit. 

When it comes time to replace the unit, the new unit increases the value of the house. That is good for both the tenant and the property manager. 

So, Who is Responsible for HVAC Repairs in a Rental?

No matter how big or small the issue is, it is a good rule-of-thumb to be proactive. 

  • As a tenant, it is essential to effectively communicate with the property management company if you suspect an issue or that the system is not working as efficiently as it should.
  • As a Manager, it is crucial to react to problems with the HVAC system promptly.

If you notice a problem with your AC or Heating system, take a look at your lease agreement. It will tell you who is responsible for the small repairs. In most cases, the Property Manager will take care of the considerable moving parts of the home.

Should you have any other property management questions or the issues that arise with rentals, contact Bravo Property Management and Realty for answers.