AC expectation in Rental

14 Replies

I have a single family  three-bed two-bath home  that is 1554 square feet . I did not upgrade the AC when I renovated the home.  I'm renting it out and I have really great tenants.  The only problem is that the AC is too small for the house . At the same time it's  cooling well and functioning as it should.  Going by the 20 degree rule it's working just fine. However it gets to be a hundred to 104 where I am .  My tenants want to keep the house at 70 to 73° at all times regardless of the heat outside.  They now want me to upgrade the AC  which will cost quite a bit of money. I want to keep the tenants but the investment to upgrade is quite significant. I have to decide whether to upgrade at a price tag of around 8 to $10,000 or tell them no. Thoughts?

@Jennifer Green Tell them to get window units for the areas of their concern. Your AC sounds like it is doing its job. If they want it cooler, they can get a window unit. If you're feeling really nice you can buy it for them. I do understand not wanting to lose great tenants.

Don't do it. Find an educational video or brochure about how to properly use A/C. Let them know that if the system breaks because they abuse it by running it constantly, they may be liable for the expenses.

In the future, you may want to consider educating tenants before they move in.

I like the window unit idea at tenant's expense. I also think your price tag is probably too high too. Get a couple quotes. Then calculate tje rent raise required to pay for it in 18 months or so. Offer to upgrade the AC in exchange for a sufficient increase in rent to pay for it. You will quickly find out how bad they want more cooling. If they pay it, you both win. If not, you didn't have tjo say no. This is how all life decisions work for everyone. Never tell a tenant no, just how much.

10K for an HVAC unit for 1500 square feet??? Does it make it snow? That's rip city. 2Ton's should cool that just fine, but those are hard to come by, so go 3T. 3K tops. That with an annual service and preventative maintenance contract will make it last its full life of 7-12 years. It's a solid investment. Might be able to get your tenants to sign a multi-year deal to ensure it happens.

Sounds like your AC unit is doing its job and an upgraded one probably wouldn't change things other than reducing the utility bills. I would not consider an upgrade until that unit failed. Consider also that windows/doors and insulation affect the efficiency of a home as well. If you have original windows in an older home they will be more of an issue than the AC unit.

@Jennifer Green having lived in Texas for 5 years (before moving) I can relate to the summers there. That being said as an engineer I can also tell you your AC can only cool so much, due to thermodynamics lol.

So keep the AC unit and tell your tenants that if it’s hundred plus outside it’s not gonna get much lower than probably 72.

Does the tenant want a hot tub installed too ? Maybe you could add a wine cellar downstairs or a basketball court in the backyard while your taking their requests to renovate the property . Look Unless it’s in your lease I would tell them that if they want it colder then go buy themselves a window unit and if they really fight you about it go buy them one and take the cost directly out of their security deposit . You need to get this in your mind :It’s your house not theirs !

Originally posted by @Mark Fries :
8k-10k for new are getting ripped off...

I can get a new 5 ton system installed for $3200 all day long here in florida..

you need to shop around


Please post for the company name for the rest of us landlords in FL

70 inside when it is 104 out no way

Even when it is 90 outside 70 is cold

What very well may happen if you upgrade is the temp still won’t go low enough for them.    It is very possible it needs more insulation in the attic, walls and floors. 

I would not open that can of worms. 

I would tell them the A/C is fine if they like they can buy a window unit

Cooling down to 75 is fine.