General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Tenant says AC not working AC Contractor says otherwise

Posted Jul 2 2022, 08:22

We have a single floor 1300 sqft house with 6 year old Trane hvac system. Yesterday, Tenant messaged me and stated that the system was not working around 3AM, so we dispatched a AC contractor to check the system that same day, they found nothing. I was told the system is in good condition and functioning properly. Today tenant messaged again about the same problem, I asked AC contractor to take another look. 

I know as Landlord we are required to make and pay for any repairs to make the unit livable that are not caused by the tenant. If ac contractor finds no issue with the system again, who would be responsible for the payment? Landlord or Tenant? 

Nashville, Tennessee

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Jill F.
  • Investor
  • Akron, OH
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Jill F.
  • Investor
  • Akron, OH
Replied Jul 2 2022, 22:40

If it is a programmable thermostat, spend $25 and replace the thermostat with a non-programmable model and see if the problem goes away. It sounds like the temp is being reset automatically at a certain time(s)

Also, I would not like to be texted about this kind of problem at 3am...it's not a 3am kind of problem which I define as a 9-1-1 emergency like FIRE or FLOODING)

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Alex Martens
  • Investor
  • Rochester, NY
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Alex Martens
  • Investor
  • Rochester, NY
Replied Jul 3 2022, 04:30

@Dave Mills

I have a pretty new Trane HVAC system in my house. For a while I was wondering why the heck the house would be 74 when I have it set to 71. I looked at the thermostat and saw I had it on the “temporary hold” setting, which means it only holds at that temp for a certain period of time. I turned that setting off and now no issues. Maybe it’s as simple as that? Hope this helps.

-Alex

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Nathan G.
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
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Nathan G.
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Cody, WY
ModeratorReplied Jul 3 2022, 05:25
Quote from @Dave Mills:

We have a single floor 1300 sqft house with 6 year old Trane hvac system. Yesterday, Tenant messaged me and stated that the system was not working around 3AM, so we dispatched a AC contractor to check the system that same day, they found nothing. I was told the system is in good condition and functioning properly. Today tenant messaged again about the same problem, I asked AC contractor to take another look. 

I know as Landlord we are required to make and pay for any repairs to make the unit livable that are not caused by the tenant. If ac contractor finds no issue with the system again, who would be responsible for the payment? Landlord or Tenant? 


 If you sent a professional and that person said it is working as designed, then that's the end of the conversation. Maybe tenants should dress lighter or turn on a fan.

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Jonathan R McLaughlin
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Boston, Massachusetts (MA)
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Jonathan R McLaughlin
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Boston, Massachusetts (MA)
Replied Jul 3 2022, 07:46

@Dave Mills I learned something from these responses. Still thinking a 4 degree temp difference between hvac setting and thermostat is a triumph, not a problem

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Bruce Woodruff#3 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
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Bruce Woodruff#3 All Forums Contributor
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
Replied Jul 3 2022, 07:53

The test for a properly working AC is to get an IR thermometer and take a reading at the return and one ambient. They should be approx 15 degrees apart. If this is done then the system is working properly period. But there may be other factors like blocked registers....?

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Michael H.
  • Investor
  • Kennesaw, GA
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Michael H.
  • Investor
  • Kennesaw, GA
Replied Jul 4 2022, 01:22

@Dave Mills

I had a very similar situation last month. We called the AC tech out there to test the system, we had installed the system less than 3 months earlier, and the tech said it was working just fine. The temp was set to 72 on a day when it was almost 100 outside. The tech told us that we can only expect about a 20 degree difference from the outside temp. That kind of surprised me. But based on what he was saying, when the tenant complained a second time, we gave him the number of the AC company and told him that he would need to coordinate the next visit and be there when the tech arrived to work with him and explain exactly what the problem is. And also, he would be responsible for the service fee at this point. We haven't heard back from the tenant.

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Replied Jul 4 2022, 06:44

I was not expecting this much feedback, like Jonathan, I learned so much from these responses. 

We dispatched AC contractor yesterday and set the expectations. If they are still not happy with the temperature in the house, I am going to suggest them calling another AC contractor of their choosing and deal with the fees. 

Thank you all for your feedback and help, truly apricated!

Happy 4th everyone!