My AC unit in our house keeps going down. We rent in Florida and have been excellent tenants for several years. Our AC unit keeps going down - not blowing cool air. Leaking freon under the house in lines. Our landlady does fix but sometimes doesnt get back to us for days. What can we do? She ends up sending someone out to pump the freon up to keep it alive for awhile. It is a outdated unit that takes outdated freon (R9). .. so its expensive. The last AC company we used came out because a close friend works for them and helped us out -but eventually had to start charging. Landlady hasnt paid them for 4 months so they refuse to come out. Landlady openly admits to me that she is " real estate rich but cash poor".. AC needs replacing and she says she is pricing units etc... Im thinking of giving her a low offer on the house to help her out but prob gunna wait til she replaces the AC. Thoughts? Can we withold rent being that we can go without AC for a day or two in the middle of a hot Florida summer?
@Account Closed your holding up your end by paying rent, she needs to hold up her end. Florida heat is no joke.
She is not going to replace the unit until she absolutely has to, especially since it is at the end of the summer. Can never hurt to make a low offer...you will have a better chance of acceptance BEFORE the AC is replaced and to position it as such.
When I self-managed and had a AC unit replacement or more than a day or two of AC downtime, I had a spare window unit and I'd put that in temporarily...not the best solution but better than nothing. If she does not go for the low offer, you just have to decide whether moving or putting up with the AC is more problematic.
Can you legally withhold rent in Florida for non-functioning AC for a day or two?
Florida does allow rent withholding if the landlord fails to provide "essential services". Essential services are defined in the attached statute. They do not include AC:
How long is left on your lease? You have to decide what you really want as an end game. If you want to buy the house that is a different animal to wanting to just get the AC fixed. 'Helping her out by giving a low offer" on the place is misguided, like somehow you are going to help this woman out by giving her a way out at a rock bottom price. So I would recommend one of the following:
1- Tell her you would like out of the lease due to the faulty climate control unit at no charge and find a new home.
2- If you want the house as your own, then make an offer on buying it based on it's current condition.
Just my 2 cents and good luck!
Account Closed running an AC unit low on freon is guaranteed to destroy the compressor at some point. You shouldn't just fill an AC system that is leaking. The company should have identified and repaired the leak. That can range from time consuming to impossible if it is in the coil. There are some chemicals you can inject that find the leak and seal it, but that has a 50/50 success ratio. It may be a less expensive option for the lady.
Here is your choices of how to deal with this. You can try to buy the property from her, assuming you want it. You can call the city and report her, assuming they have power to do anything. You can contract the repair yourself and withhold the cost from rent, assuming she doesn't take you to court. But my choice would be option D, just move out and find a better landlord.
Having AC in Florida is not required unless it was advertised as coming with the unit. I am a landlord and do replace or service AC's, but you can't repair it yourself and take it off the rent or withhold rent. Make an "as is" offer on the place if you like living there or move. I am lucky that I have an excellent AC man, who has also loaned my tenants a window unit if he has to order parts. I also have had the homeowner warranty for a year after I bought a property and was able to get them to pay for replacement of the units at two different rentals (also hot water heaters and plumbing fixtures). They are a pain in the butt to deal with, but they do end up paying for a lot of repairs on a newly owned SF house with appliances of unknown condition.
She had replaced the unit and the lines. Life is good!