Landlord or Tenant: Who’s Responsible for HVAC Service and Maintenance Needs?

HVAC ServiceA home requires a lot of maintenance to keep it running safely and efficiently. As a homeowner, you know the struggles of endless work around the house. But what if you’re renting your property? As a landlord, how do you handle home maintenance needs such as HVAC service?

Who’s Responsible for Common HVAC Service and Maintenance Needs?

Here are a few common home maintenance responsibilities and who is typically responsible for each:

Changing the Air Filter

The air filter must be changed often to keep the HVAC unit clean. This is generally the responsibility of the tenant to purchase on their own and replace regularly.


If the thermostat batteries are weak, the heating and cooling systems won’t receive the message to turn on. Batteries are easy to replace, and can be done by the tenants, especially if they are provided with a manual.

HVAC Maintenance

Air conditioner and furnace checks directly impact the lifespan of your HVAC unit. Depending on the lease, the landlord can either assume full responsibility for the annual tune-up or it can be a shared responsibility.

HVAC Service and Repairs

Tenants have a right to live in housing that is in certain working conditions. Known as repair and deduct, they may use rent money to make repairs of conditions that are covered by the implied warranty of habitability. If maintenance is not addressed, NJ tenants have legal rights.

Refrigeration coils, blowers, burners and heating elements can all malfunction; when they do – or for any other emergency HVAC service and repairs, the landlord must repair or replace them.

Tenant Rights

State laws define what temperature your rental needs to conform to. Tenants are generally entitled to heat under the implied warranty of habitability — an unwritten promise that requires residential landlords to maintain the premises.  Under the state housing codes in New Jersey, the landlord must provide enough heat so that the temperature is at least 68 degrees from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and at least 65 degrees from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. from October 1 through May 1.

However, landlords don’t have the same responsibility to provide air conditioning. If you rent a place that has air conditioning, there’s a contractual responsibility for you to maintain it; if you don’t, your tenant may be entitled to a rent reduction or some other consideration.

Turn to Your Local HVAC Service Experts

At Brown’s, we provide all your home cooling solutions. From emergency repairs and maintenance to system replacement and installation, we work with all models. To learn more about HVAC service needs for your rental, contact Brown’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing at 732-741-0694.

We proudly serve residents in Monmouth and Ocean County for all your HVAC system maintenance and installation needs.