Every person looks for comfort before buying or renting a home. However, if you are renting a home, you must be clear about some rules, and one of them is using any cleaning service. Maintaining your ducts is crucial, and if you fail to use the right air duct cleaning equipment, your entire HVAC system will wear out.
The most common question today is ‘Should a landlord pay for air duct cleaning bills?’. However, its answer depends on some points. If your rental home includes air conditioners and other HVAC systems, you need to consider the below points. Thus, please keep reading to know about a rental home and its cleaning expenses.
What is a Landlord’s Responsibility?
When it comes to HVAC cleaning, a landlord is not lawfully bound to give you the facility. So, if you think so, you might be wrong. There are no such laws that mandate landlords to give air duct cleaning costs. As per law, the landlord is only responsible for warranty habitability. And by this, we mean that a landlord is obliged to ensure the living environment is habitable before giving a home for rent. To understand the term better, let us see a few services that come under this section.
- Plumbing and sanitary systems – sinks, taps, toilets, shower, hot shower must work.
- Absence of mold, debris, or other hazardous contaminants (This includes an air duct cleaning service before a tenant moves in).
- Absence of rodents and other contagions.
- Emergency exits.
- Locks and guards for protection against crime.
- Proper ventilation.
- Latest compliance with building codes.
- Working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- No leakage or damage on the ceiling or walls.
Who is chargeable for cleaning the HVAC system?
Maintaining air ducts can be pricey, and we understand that. However, you can always negotiate and share or allocate duties equally. Below are three ways of distributing the maintenance cost. You can follow them to get a worthy solution.
1. Shared costs
Paying an equal share or taking up equal responsibilities has always been beneficial. Further, this also gives equal control to both individuals. As per this agreement, a tenant can take responsibility for repairs and cleaning. At the same time, a landlord can take charge of bearing the replacement expenses. Further, tenants usually take up responsibility for fixing issues and cleaning HVAC systems. However, sometimes a tenant may also have to fix some minor issues.
2. Landlord is liable
As per this agreement, a landlord is responsible for all issues related to the HVAC system. Therefore, right from cleaning to servicing, a landlord has to pay for everything. Also, they need to ensure regular maintenance services and checks after fixed intervals. The service time is usually once in few months. However, if a tenant requests maintenance earlier, they will be charged for it.
3. Tenant is liable
In this case, tenants are expected to bear all costs and pay for the maintenance of the HVAC system. Yet, it is not the same for all rental homes. Here the landlord holds the tenant responsible for repairs and cleaning of air ducts in their agreement.
One of the common issues with this point is that tenants often overlook maintaining air ducts to save costs. So, using this solution is not beneficial for both parties and can cause dissatisfaction.
Key points to add in your Agreement
Regardless of the solution you choose, you must include these two points in your agreement if you are a landlord. These guidelines are beneficial for both tenants and landlords and incorporate better maintenance of devices.
If the HVAC system is damaged by natural forces or wear and tear, the landlord is responsible for all repair and maintenance costs. Damage from natural forces and events includes all those forces that a tenant is not responsible for or, in other words, not caused by the tenant. In such instances, a landlord is responsible for fixing all issues and damages.
Next, if the HVAC system is damaged due to the tenant’s negligence, the tenant is liable for bearing all costs. Damage because of a tenant or any such event that they are responsible for comes under this category. Here the tenant looks after the repair costs, or if they fail to do so, the landlord is free to deduct the amount from their security deposit.
Adding these two points is what most of the landlords prefer to do before renting out their property. They are essential for the safety of air ducts and HVAC systems inside your home.
Maintaining HVAC systems is very crucial and must not be neglected. So, both tenants and landlords must ensure they find a worthy solution. Considering these points will help you extend your device’s life and keep them clean for use.
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