Older HVAC in Your New Rental? 5 Questions to Ask
Older homes often come with a certain character and charm you can’t find in new buildings. Unfortunately, that charming apartment or house may come with an older HVAC system that leads to many uncomfortable days. Regardless of whether you are dealing with the summer heat or the unusually cold winter that Atlanta saw in 2014, you have every right to make sure the HVAC in your rental is up to snuff. Here are five questions to ask before signing the lease.
When Was the HVAC System Installed?
While there is no set life span for HVAC systems, most systems last between 10 and 15 years. Poor maintenance will lower that figure, while proper maintenance and correct system matching will extend it. As a tenant, your main concern should be whether the unit is reaching the end of its life span. Find out the age of the system and what the landlord’s plan is, should the equipment fail.
What Is the HVAC Power Source?
Depending on the terms of the rental contract, you may be responsible for the electricity and heating costs of the apartment in your Buckhead home. In this event, an older HVAC could have an immediate impact on your monthly bills. Ask whether the HVAC is powered by gas or electricity. Factor the cost into your negotiation of the monthly rent.
Has the A/C Been Serviced Recently?
An HVAC tuneup before winter and summer is recommended by most contractors, so ask the landlord or management company when the last system checkup occurred. During intense heat or cold, filters should be changed once a month for optimal performance. Make sure the landlord plans to perform this maintenance.
What Is the Plan if the System Breaks Down?
Your landlord may already have a reliable HVAC company in place to handle the apartment you’re considering. Find out how to proceed if the older HVAC equipment breaks down. Contacting the landlord to report a malfunction may not do you much good in the middle of the night. A far better option is to have your landlord give you a contact number so you can call a professional in a pinch.
How Do HVAC Outages Affect the Rent?
In Georgia, tenants have the right to have repairs made if the landlord refuses, and tenants may deduct the repair amount from the rent. Timothy Cook, an attorney based in Atlanta, explains that judges often consider a few weeks to be a reasonable time frame for making repairs. During a scalding local summer, that plan of action will not be ideal. Ask the landlord to add a clause to the lease stipulating the impact of HVAC breakdowns that last longer than two days.
Just because you’re renting an apartment doesn’t mean you can put HVAC cares out of your mind. Casteel knows that your HVAC system plays an important part in your comfort. Ensure that your landlord takes the proper care of your system to keep it running smoothly.