Do rental properties have to clean air conditioning vents?

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2011

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Do rental properties have to clean air conditioning vents?

I currently live in an apartment that has an old A/A unit. Every week since I have moved in I have had to have the unit worked on. Upon inspection of my own I noticed that the A/C is so filthy that air barely passes through the unit, due to the unit being ran with out a filter for quite some time. I have asked more than once for this problem to be corrected and keep getting the run around. Is there any way I can legally require them to get the unit cleaned?

Asked on June 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to force the landlord to clean the vents, etc., though you'd have to take legal action--i.e. sue--if he won't do it voluntarily.

There are two possible grounds for action:

First, there is what's called the implied warranty of habitability, which is a term added to all leases (even if it's not written in explicitly), which is that the unit must be fit and inhabitable for its intended purpose--which here, is residence in FL. Not having working A/C and/or having dust (or possibly even mold) laden A/C might constitute a violation of this warranty.

Second, if you were shown and rented an apartment that is supposed to have A/C, having effectively non-working A/C may be a breach of the lease--you're not gettin what you paid for.

You should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney about your rights, recourse, and best way to proceed.

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