Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by Kelvin Nielsen
Landlords in Alabama have an obligation to abide by the state’s “implied warranty of habitability.” The legal requirement is primarily governed by AL Code § 35-9A-204. It basically outlines what rights tenants have in AL when it comes to habitability issues.
The following are commonly asked questions regarding a tenant’s right to air conditioning in Alabama.
Does the Alabama landlord-tenant law require landlords to provide their tenants with air conditioning system?
Yes! As a landlord, you have an obligation under Alabama habitability laws to provide your tenant with air conditioning. This is especially true if you’re renting out either a single-family home or a multi-family property.
Other responsibilities you have include providing your tenant with:
- Hot and running water.
- A working heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment.
- A working electrical, plumbing, and lighting system.
- Proper sanitation facilities.
- Adequate trash receptacles for garbage removal.
- Safe stairs and railings (if any).
- A working smoke detector.
Here is a full list of responsibilities landlords have in the state of Alabama.
How long does a landlord have to fix air conditioning in Alabama?
In Alabama, landlords have a responsibility to provide their tenants with a habitable rental property. And this includes providing a tenant with a working air conditioning system.
If it breaks for whatever reason, and your tenant notifies you of the same, you must respond within 14 days.
Can a tenant withhold rent in Alabama to force the landlord to repair the air conditioning system?
No! Alabama tenants cannot unilaterally withhold rent payments due to a repair issue. If a tenant does this, they would be in violation of the rental agreement and would even risk an eviction.
Tenants in Alabama also cannot exercise the right to “Repair and Deduct.” This is where a tenant can make the repairs themselves, and then deduct the appropriate costs from future rent payments.
Who pays for AC maintenance: landlord or tenant?
Generally speaking, both parties have certain obligations when it comes to making repairs to an AC system. The tenant is usually responsible for making minor repairs, whereas the landlord is responsible for making major repair issues.
Do you have to notify your Alabama tenant prior to making repairs on the AC?
Landlords in Alabama cannot enter their tenant’s rented unit without permission, except for emergency situations. In other situations, you must provide your tenant with at least a 2 days’ advance notice.
Does the state of Alabama have a warranty of habitability?
Yes! AL Code § 35-9A-204 primarily governs a landlord’s obligation to provide a habitable living space. Which, includes the landlord’s obligation to provide a working air conditioning system.
What legal options does a tenant have if repairs to the AC system aren’t made?
As already mentioned, landlords in Alabama have a maximum of 14 days to respond to a tenant’s maintenance request. If a landlord doesn’t, tenants may obtain the following rights.
One, your tenant may have a legal right to terminate their lease and move out. Two, they may have a right to report you to a local public official for action. And three, they may have the option to sue you for any damages arising from your failure to fix the air conditioning system.
Neither of these three options are ideal for a landlord. As such, make a point to inspect the unit regularly to ensure everything, including the AC system, is in tiptop shape.
What are the renters’ rights in Alabama?
After acceptance of rent by a landlord, tenants obtain certain inherent rights and responsibilities. These are contained in the Alabama Code Title 35 Chapter 9A of the Alabama Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.
Some of the rights tenants have include; a right to a habitable property, a right to fair treatment as per Alabama Fair Housing Act, and a right to live in peace and quiet enjoyment. You can read more on Alabama renters’ rights here.
As a landlord in Alabama, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the state’s landlord-tenant law on air conditioning. This way, you’ll know what your responsibilities are regarding the same.
Disclosure: The content herein isn’t a substitute for advice from a professional attorney. It’s only meant to serve educational purposes. If you have a specific question, kindly seek expert attorney services.
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.