Are Landlords Required to Fix Air Conditioning?

Last Updated: May 10, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

In most states, landlords must repair or replace air conditioning. The law often doesn’t mention air conditioning specifically, and instead requires that the landlord repair supplied appliances. An air conditioner almost always qualifies as such an appliance, if it was working when the tenant moved in.


Many local city codes are more specific than state law when it comes to standards for air conditioning and ventilation.

States With Unusual Standards for Fixing Air Conditioning

There are only a few unusual statewide standards for fixing air conditioning. Most states make a landlord fix any provided air conditioning, and most of the rest have no requirements at all. The following states have unique rules which don’t fall into the above categories.

State Standard(s)
Arkansas Air conditioning must be kept in the same operating condition as when the lease began. This applies only in leases beginning after Nov. 1, 2021.
Kentucky Must fix any provided air conditioning. This applies only in counties which have passed the Kentucky Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (KY-URLTA).
Illinois In condominiums, and rental property limited to persons 55 and older, there must be certain specific cooling and heating provided at all times, respective to the warm and cold seasons of the year.
Maryland A landlord has no duty to repair air conditioning unless tenants can prove failure to repair creates a “serious and substantial threat” to health and safety.
New Jersey No statutory requirement, but courts have found a broken air conditioner in the hot season may be a habitability violation.
New York No statutory requirement, but courts have found a broken air conditioner in summer may be a habitability violation.
Texas No duty to repair air conditioning until a local official certifies the condition materially affects the safety of an ordinary tenant.

How Long Can a Landlord Wait Before Fixing Air Conditioning?

Depending on the state, a landlord may be able to wait up to 30 days before fixing air conditioning. However, the average jurisdiction requires significantly faster action than this. While state standards can vary widely, most states will require action within a week or two at most after the tenant delivers proper notice.

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Delivering Proper Notice

Notice about deficiencies in air conditioning must get delivered to the landlord through legally acceptable methods. Some states permit verbal notice about such issues. Many require written notice.


Proving how long a landlord took to respond to a repair request is a critical part of any legal remedy, especially when reporting a landlord to housing authorities. Whether or not it’s legally required, written notice to the landlord is the best way to ensure this evidence is available, especially when delivered through certified mail.

Consequences for Failure To Fix Air Conditioning

Landlord failure to fix required air conditioning can qualify as either a serious housing violation or a standard one, depending on the law. Standards vary widely, but if a landlord doesn’t fix  after proper notice from the tenant, the following remedies often are available: