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Posted: 6/14/2009 6:16:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 6:18:29 PM EST by Sig_Fan]
My mother is paying a great deal of rent in an "upscale" duplex. It is a really nice place.

She has been here 10 months now on a 1 year lease and the landlord has been most unpleasant to deal with.

In the lease it says that she is supposed to take care of minor maintenance items, and I have done that/will continue to do that for her with stuff like leaky faucets, backed up drains, etc.

But I am not a central air conditioner technician. The AC takes hours to cool the home down 2 degrees when the air temp outside is 75F. This should not be. I stuck a thermocouple probe in the AC vents and the air being blown out is 60-62F constant with a room temp of 72F, thus it takes hours to even gain a modest decline in room temp and is not efficient. I went outside and inspected the central AC unit and it is clean as a whistle. No obstructions of the vents, compressor looks GTG, etc. The air filter in the home is spic and span.

My mom has had some other problems that I do not know how to fix myself and the answer is always the same, "Sorry bud, can't help you" or "You're going to need the following tools and here is what you need to do..."

Does a renter any recourse when politely told to pound sand by a landlord?

My mother has never been late on rent and is a model renter.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:18:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 6:20:08 PM EST by ApacheScout]
What does the lease say?
Usually theres something in there about which appliances are the landlords responsibility.
ETA: On re-read, it sounds like the LL is responsible for the AC.
Have it repaired and deduct from rent.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:19:05 PM EST
"4. Except for residential premises subject to a local housing code, repair or replace any plumbing, electrical wiring, machinery or equipment furnished with the premises and no longer in reasonable working condition;"

Wisco Landlord/tenant law
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:20:31 PM EST
Start by checking the filter. It may be an easy fix if the AC unit filter needs cleaned. Beyond that, the condition does not rise to the level of constructive eviction. The unit is still habitable. Your one option may be to get it repaired and then try to deduct the amount paid for repair from rent.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:22:28 PM EST
Don't know if it helps, but I had a lease once that stated the washer/dryer were my responsibility. Well, they broke because they were old as dirt. Turned out the landlady was cool with replacing them herself because they were so old, but my trump was going to be that I'll buy them, and then I'll take them with me when I move out, as YOUR'S broke, and MINE are still working. I'll be happy to leave the broken ones. Try that with the AC unit
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:23:29 PM EST
This most likley will not end well, however you should start documenting everything.
Dates, times, when you contacted him about the problems, what he said, when he
said it, etc.. When it get's to a real piss'n match it should help you...
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:23:59 PM EST
Tell her to move, 2 months to find another place, get everything ready and split the second the lease is up. LLDs like that will NEVER change, never spend a dime he does not have to and will always be a PITA to deal with.

Hope the next tenants cook meth as a side business.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:25:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By thelaw09:
Start by checking the filter. It may be an easy fix if the AC unit filter needs cleaned. Beyond that, the condition does not rise to the level of constructive eviction. The unit is still habitable. Your one option may be to get it repaired and then try to deduct the amount paid for repair from rent.


"The unit is still habitable".
I have noticed that statement often seems to absolve the landlord of a great deal of his/her responsibility.

I
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:28:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By fxntime:
Tell her to move, 2 months to find another place, get everything ready and split the second the lease is up. LLDs like that will NEVER change, never spend a dime he does not have to and will always be a PITA to deal with.

Hope the next tenants cook meth as a side business.


That was my recommendation as well. A leopard isn't going to change his spots, as the old saying goes.

It is a shame too as I guess she'll take her 1200 bucks paid to him every month like clockwork elsewhere.

LL's not fixing stuff that isn't that expensive to fix/upkeep (like recharging the refrigerant in a central AC unit) and driving off good tenants is cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:28:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By fxntime:
Tell her to move, 2 months to find another place, get everything ready and split the second the lease is up. LLDs like that will NEVER change, never spend a dime he does not have to and will always be a PITA to deal with.

Hope the next tenants cook meth as a side business.


Agreed, it's time to get out!
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:28:43 PM EST
This man would know what to do.


Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:29:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bohr_Adam:
This man would know what to do.

http://www.webwombat.com.au/entertainment/movies/images/man-on-fire.JPG


I don't think even Denzel could get through to this block head.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:32:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 6:32:54 PM EST by angus6]
Originally Posted By fxntime:
Tell her to move, 2 months to find another place, get everything ready and split the second the lease is up. LLDs like that will NEVER change, never spend a dime he does not have to and will always be a PITA to deal with.

Hope the next tenants cook meth as a side business.


This , screw him , and who turns on the ac when it's 75º outside
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 6:40:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By angus6:
Originally Posted By fxntime:
Tell her to move, 2 months to find another place, get everything ready and split the second the lease is up. LLDs like that will NEVER change, never spend a dime he does not have to and will always be a PITA to deal with.

Hope the next tenants cook meth as a side business.


This , screw him , and who turns on the ac when it's 75º outside


If it's really muggy outside and I'm sweating just standing around, I'll turn the AC on.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:00:01 PM EST
Does he pay the electricity, or does she?

Either way, if she needs better cooling and you can't get the central air unit to work well, a window unit might help a lot. You can get them for SO cheap now...
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:45:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 7:45:39 PM EST by jixxerbeast]
Originally Posted By ApacheScout:
What does the lease say?
Usually theres something in there about which appliances are the landlords responsibility.
ETA: On re-read, it sounds like the LL is responsible for the AC.
Have it repaired and deduct from rent.


and schedule it for a weekend for the rate
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:48:28 PM EST
Does she pay for the electricity? If so, what are her bills like?

Maybe it's worth it to pay an HVAC tech to come out and check it out. Get him to make an assessment and if he says it's not working right, take that assessment to the LL and have him fix it.

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:51:30 PM EST
The landlord is a moron... there are lots of rentals available right now.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:54:30 PM EST
62 isn't near cold enough, it should be around 48/52 range. I had the same problem with my apartment, morons never could fix it correctly.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:02:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By angus6:
Originally Posted By fxntime:
Tell her to move, 2 months to find another place, get everything ready and split the second the lease is up. LLDs like that will NEVER change, never spend a dime he does not have to and will always be a PITA to deal with.

Hope the next tenants cook meth as a side business.


This , screw him , and who turns on the ac when it's 75º outside


Around here it'll be 75 outside, but the humidity is 80%; thus, it makes for a sticky situation.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:02:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 5:03:16 AM EST by Sig_Fan]
double post
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:04:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By Desp:
62 isn't near cold enough, it should be around 48/52 range. I had the same problem with my apartment, morons never could fix it correctly.


That's exactly my point. The air is simply not nearly cold enough.

I am wondering if it just needs to be recharged with whatever refrigerant these things use nowadays.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:07:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 5:19:06 AM EST by Bubbles]
Originally Posted By Sig_Fan:
...She has been here 10 months now on a 1 year lease and the landlord has been most unpleasant to deal with.

...Does a renter any recourse when politely told to pound sand by a landlord?


Yup, prepare to move. Read the lease and make sure that you give more notice than is required to terminate it - if the lease says 30 days notice, give 45 days. Send written notice via certified mail, return receipt requested, etc. since this landlord is an asshat. That way he can't come back later and sue your mom for breaching the lease.

ETA: In the meantime, stop fixing the little stuff if your mom can live with the problems. The LL will have to fix them himself after she moves out if he wants another tenant in there.

FWIW I'm also a LL and every time my tenants have reported a problem I've had a contractor out to make repairs ASAP if it was something either they or I couldn't handle quickly.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:12:36 AM EST
Wisconsin has some pretty tough laws to deal with BS landlords. Local municipalities may even go to extremes.

Look up the local tenant resource center and get the specific laws.

Yes, fixing the AC unit and deducting it from rent is legal in many places (it may even be a state law).

Before taking that route, however, get the _written_ opinion of a licensed HVAC guy that the unit is broken so you have that bit of info if/in case it ends up on small claims court.

If your mom isn't in love with the place though, it may be better just to get a different place (and stick a fish in the wall on the way out).
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:12:50 AM EST
Move ( after the lease agreement is fulfilled )

Why give your money to an asshole ? There are some good landlords out there who will welcome your mom w/ open arms.

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:15:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 5:17:56 AM EST by APBullet]
But I am not a central air conditioner technician. The AC takes hours to cool the home down 2 degrees when the air temp outside is 75F. This should not be. I stuck a thermocouple probe in the AC vents and the air being blown out is 60-62F constant with a room temp of 72F, thus it takes hours to even gain a modest decline in room temp and is not efficient. I went outside and inspected the central AC unit and it is clean as a whistle. No obstructions of the vents, compressor looks GTG, etc. The air filter in the home is spic and span.


The problem with many rental units is the AC system is under rated for the heat load in the summer time. It probably is fine in the l.ow 80s or high 70s, but when it gets in the 90s to 100 outside, the system doesn't have the capacity to bring the temp down. If you run the system late at night and get the temp down pretty good and in the day time it keeps rising to a level its uncomfortable, it under rated. The land lord is a jerk. He collects his rent and the tenents pay his expenses. Check the temp coming out of the ducts it should be a few degrees cooler, but it might not be able to pull it down any more even if its running correctly.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:23:16 AM EST
changing the filter is minor maintenance, i'd say the LL is obligated to maintain all appliances in the unit he's renting. that's why you rent, so u don't have to do the upkeep yourself. tell him to fix it, or you'll fix it and deduct it from the rent yourself. then find a new place and tell LL to go outside and play hide and go fuck himself
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:50:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By ApacheScout:

Have it repaired and deduct from rent.


Doing this is maybe the most retarded option. It is not in line with most states laws.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 5:58:01 AM EST
Sounds like you have a leak in the ducting.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 7:21:14 AM EST
My mom lives in a place that had that problem. Even with the AC maxed out it would still be 85 indoors.

Finally, enough tennants complained that they finally replaced all of the AC's in every unit.
Link Posted: 6/15/2009 12:02:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2009 12:03:24 PM EST by v8unleashed]
Originally Posted By BritTN:
Originally Posted By ApacheScout:

Have it repaired and deduct from rent.


Doing this is maybe the most retarded option. It is not in line with most states laws.


BULLSHIT. Repair and deduct laws are quite common. One possible problem in this case is that laws like that are usually reserved for big things that affect habitability. No heat in the winter would qualify. Who knows about no AC in the summer.
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