CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Protecting your Money's Andy Liscano spoke with Nueces County Judge Joe Benavides, and asked him if landlords are required to provide A/C to all tenants.
"In accordance with the Repair and Remedy Code, and the Property Code of Chapter 94, no they don't, unless it's on the contract," said Benavides.
Did you get that?
Judge Benavides tells us landlords do not have to provide A/C for your apartment, condo, rental house, wherever you live, unless they and you as the tenant, agree to it, and write it into the contract or lease, and you both sign it.
However, this is not state law, the judge points out. So if it is not state law, how can it be enforced?
"The tenant's got to definitely make sure that it's in the contract when they sign it," continued Benavides.
Okay, so how about if the A/C is not working properly? How long does the landlord have to fix it?
At least 3 days, according to the judge, as long as it's written into the lease. Otherwise...
"The landlord could just dispute it and say, you know, it's not in the contract, but I'll try to fix it to the best of my abilities, but as long as he has sufficient time to fix it," the judge said.
Let's say it doesn't get fixed in a timely manner, does that allow the tenant to get out of their lease? Not necessarily.
"If he's gone to all lengths to get it repaired, and it hasn't been repaired, they can sign a petition for a Remedy hearing to get the courts involved."
Keep in mind, if the landlord agrees to provide A/C, expect your rent to go up to cover the increase in the landlord's energy bill.