Bradford Air and Heating installs and services heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) in Livermore, Alameda County, and their surrounding areas. Sometimes our technicians make calls to homes where a renter is present and is unhappy with the amount of time it took for their landlord to call for installation or repair. Sometimes the renter had repeatedly asked the landlord to call. Sometimes the renter finally made the call on his own and pays us himself, hoping to recover the cost from his landlord later.
So what are the California laws for landlords and renters regarding heating and air conditioning? According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, a landlord must keep her tenants’ home “habitable,” which they do say includes “heating facilities in good working order.” This does NOT include repairing damage caused by the tenant.
The problem comes when a tenant has called the landlord and also written her a letter requesting service, and still nothing happens. The renter can choose to pay for the repair and withhold that amount from his next rent check, or he can refuse to pay rent until the repair is made, but either of these can result in the landlord suing or evicting the renter if the renter’s case is not sufficiently made that the home has truly been made uninhabitable and/or his health is at risk.
In all our years of installing and servicing HVAC in Livermore and Alameda County, thankfully we haven’t seen this situation too often. If you are a landlord, we encourage you to remember that a working heater is part of making your rental inhabitable, and you are responsible for a habitable residence no matter what else is going on with your renter.
Landlords of the Bay Area, Bradford Air and Heating has heaters for every budget, and we give free estimates. For the best deals, service, and quality on HVAC in Livermore and Alameda County, CONTACT US or call (925) 455-4AIR (4247).
This blog is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney about tenant/landlord issues.