It’s no secret. It gets pretty hot in Southern Nevada. But for those of us who live here, year in and year out, we get used to dealing with it. Air conditioning helps – in fact, it’s a necessity! The very thought of a summer without air conditioning is enough to raise your body temperature.
But what if you’re a renter and your air conditioner just stops working? We hear this question all the time. Are you on the hook for A/C repairs if you don’t own the unit? In other states, the answer might be different, but in Nevada, A/C repair is considered an essential service that landlords are obligated to provide. If you are renting and your air conditioning is not working, it’s important to know what rights you have.
Nevada tenant’s rights around A/C
Your landlord is expected to provide the following essential services during the course of your leasehold:
- Running water
- Hot water
- Electrical lighting
- Working air conditioning
- Waterproof premises
If, in fact, any of these services is not provided or is interrupted for any reason, the unit will be deemed unfit for living. At this stage, the renters have every right to pursue an independent solution such as calling in their own repair people. In order to enforce this clause, a written notice must be issued to the landlord to say that they failed to provide an essential service. While most honest landlords would be on-site right away to make sure the repairs are done, some may choose to string you along. In fact, they are not legally required to do any repairs at all unless they receive a written notice from you.
What happens after your written request for A/C repair?
Once they have received your written notice, your landlord must attempt to fix the A/C within 48 hours (not including weekends and holidays). To be sure they receive it in a timely manner, be sure to send your notice by certified mail. If the landlord has not made the requested repairs within 48 hours, you then have four choices:
- Find your own repair service and deduct the cost from any upcoming rent you owe. If the unit is beyond repair, this means you can purchase a new one. Be sure to keep your receipts!
- Sue your landlord for damages in small claims court. The amount would take into account a reduction of the market rental value of your unit as well as any damages to your property (such as a ruined wine collection, for instance!)
- Withhold rent payments. In Nevada, you can withhold your rent until your landlord makes good on their obligations.
- Move into temporary housing. If the alternate digs are comparable in cost to your rent, you can deduct that cost from the rent you are supposed to be paying. Either that or you can recover the rental cost from your landlord directly.
We should note one exception, however: if the unit is damaged by a tenant or due to the negligence of any person on the premises at the tenant’s invitation, the landlord’s obligation cannot be enforced. In other words – if you or your friends break it, you’re on your own!
Make sure you know your rights and are ready to act immediately. Your landlord has 48 hours to respond after they receive your written request. In Nevada, living in a home with no A/C isn’t just uncomfortable – it can be deadly! If your A/C isn’t working, don’t delay! call A/C Plus today!