Aggressive Mechanical, Inc

What to Do When a Rental A/C Breaks

10 Jul
What to Do When a Rental A/C Breaks

Besides the discomfort of losing the air conditioning when you rent your home or are traveling can lead to frustration as you wait for the rental’s A/C to be fixed. Unfortunately, under New Jersey landlord-tenant law, an air conditioner isn’t an essential component of a housing unit and there are no firm time frames regarding its repair.

First Steps

Check the air filter for the cooling system. All refrigerated air conditioners use filters and when they get too dirty, air can’t pass through them. As a consequence, the air conditioner may shut down or the air delivery will be so slow it’s barely noticeable. If the filter is clean or changing it doesn’t restart the system, notify the landlord or manager.

Know Your Rights

Landlords have a legal obligation to keep the rental unit in livable and safe condition. Unfortunately, in New Jersey, these definitions don’t include the air conditioner, unless its wiring is somehow hazardous. In New Jersey, landlords are obligated to provide safe:

  • Electricity
  • Plumbing
  • Waterproofing (no leaking roofs, windows, or walls)
  • Gas (if necessary)
  • Heating

These repairs must be initiated within a 48 hour period. If your home had a working air conditioner when you rented or leased it, the landlord has to repair it, but there’s no particular time requirement. New Jersey law doesn’t consider air conditioning vital to health, unlike heating.

In the Meantime

As you wait for your rental A/C to be fixed, try to eliminate as many heat-producing activities as possible like:

  • Cooking or baking.
  • Doing laundry inside the unit.
  • Bathing without using the bathroom exhaust fan.
  • Using heat-producing appliances or devices.
  • Leaving window coverings open when the sun hits the windows.

Increase your comfort indoors by:

  • Using fans to circulate the air.
  • Pulling in cooler air at night with fans if it’s safe to do so.
  • Applying damp cloths to your wrists, neck and ankles.
  • Wearing lightweight, loose clothing.

Most landlords will get the rental A/C fixed promptly to maintain their tenants’ or guests’ comfort. To learn more, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, providing HVAC services for Monmouth County residents.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  


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