Is there a law stating that a landlord of a single family house is required to perform annual maintenance on the HVAC system?

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Is there a law stating that a landlord of a single family house is required to perform annual maintenance on the HVAC system?

The house we are renting has no heat or AC for the past 3 days and my landlord says it is my responsibility to repair it. It has been determined that the HVAC system was installed 5 years ago, and has had no maintenance done on it since its installation. I was told by someone that there is a law that says a landlord must perform annual maintenance on the HVAC. My landlord wants proof.

Asked on October 31, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In MD, each political subdivision (the counties and the City of Baltimore) must have either its own housing or livability code or use the state "Minimum Livability Code". Some of the codes apply to all dwellings; others apply only to rental dwellings. However, that having been said, every lease contains an "implied warranty of habitability". This basically means that a tenant shall be furnished a rental premises that complies with all health and safety codes of the state/locality. As such, typically a landlord is is responsible for the replacement of or repairs to the electrical, plumbing and heating systems (but there is no requirement that A/C be provided). To be sure of your rights you should contact a tenants rights association near you or contact the local district court (typically the clerk of the court can direct you to help, including landlord-tenant handbooks).


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