Your apartment lease will outline what the tenant is responsible for and what the landlord is responsible to take care of. If the lease requires the tenant to maintain the air filter, you are responsible for changing it. But maintaining a heating and cooling system is often the landlord’s responsibility. The condition of the air filter is one of many things you should check before moving in. But as for the question, “Is a landlord responsible for changing air filters in California every time?” Well, that depends on the lease agreement.
Housing in California is legally required to have functional, properly maintained ventilation and heating systems. The landlord is responsible for any repairs unless the tenant caused damage. Nevertheless, state law requires a rental unit to be “legally habitable” rather than specifically calling for cooling units.
A landlord can choose whether to require a tenant to replace air filters. If so, it’s a good idea to provide the tenant with information such as the right type and correct-sized filter. When the landlord takes on the responsibility, they’ll need to keep track of when each filter in each unit needs to be changed.
You can reasonably expect a landlord to handle maintenance if they provided an operable AC system when you moved in. It’s their responsibility to repair or replace an air conditioner if it stops working through no fault of your own. By law, the landlord is required to cover repairs if you call them and make a written statement about the situation, and allow them 14 days to a month to make the repairs.
If your landlord assumes responsibility for changing air filters, failed to do so, and an AC or heating problem occurred as a result, they’re required to fix it. Otherwise, they would violate the implied warranty of habitability. A nonfunctional air conditioner can make a rental unit uninhabitable, which would violate the law.
When you think a repair or maintenance task falls under the landlord’s responsibility, keep copies of all transactions and receipts. Get everything in writing as well. A “repair and deduct” remedy allows you to deduct money from the rent to pay for repairs that cost more than a month’s rent (filters generally cost much less than that). But a landlord would most likely want to make sure filters are in working order to prevent such a circumstance.
There is also an “abandonment” remedy that permits you to move out of a defective rental unit and a “rent withholding” remedy. If the landlord refuses to fix serious defects, you could withhold rent, deduct an amount, or abandon the unit. However, this applies only after providing proof of such defects and informing the landlord of your intent in writing.
Putting aside the question, “Is a landlord responsible for changing air filters in California?”, you can trust NexGen for high-quality, high-efficiency solutions. We can provide upgraded air filters to improve indoor air quality and air conditioner maintenance to ensure your AC performs well. Whether you need routine service or 24/7 emergency repairs, call 833-729-9735 for prompt service.