The window and window frame in which the device is mounted must be safe and in good condition. The air conditioning system should be tightened from the bottom with metal brackets, mounting rails or similar brackets or firmly fixed from the inside with support angles. Metal supports and angles must be fixed to the outside of the building and be strong enough to support the size and weight of the device. While these practices are considered best practices, Local Law 11 does not require buildings larger than six storeys to necessarily use metal supports. Sunny Sidman has been living in her apartment in Tigard for about a year. However, it was the first week she had to take out her window air conditioner just so her complex could fight back. If the air conditioning of the window unit no longer works through no fault of the tenant or the tenant`s guests, the tenant calls the landlord. Tenants must make the request in writing, date the request and keep a copy. The tenant gives the landlord a reasonable amount of time to make repairs to the air conditioning. Under this agreement, management must establish facility policies and procedures and ensure that all residents comply with regulations. For example, management may establish a rule that window air conditioners can only be installed by a person considered qualified, such as the site manager, a maintenance agent, a technician at the store where the unit was purchased, or perhaps an external contractor. Residents may be asked to fill out a simple form verifying that a qualified installer has been used.
Given the number of air conditioners in a multi-storey building and the resulting problems (including access to apartments and the fact that air conditioning installations are not permanent and can change from year to year), it is impractical, if not impossible, for the engineer or architect conducting an inspection under local Law 11/98 to inspect each unit mounted on the window. One protocol is that he or she inspects at least one safely installed window air conditioner (which must comply with the above guidelines) that building management has established as the standard for the building. When signing the inspection report, management is asked to confirm that all other air conditioning systems meet or exceed this standard. This could prove to be a hindrance for many residents of older buildings. According to a separate article by Pat Dooris for KGW8, the exceptions in the bill make it “almost impossible” to install very popular and affordable window units, costing $100 less than the cheapest rolling floor unit. While some people may consider air conditioners a necessary element, California law considers them a convenience. In other words, air conditioners are not needed in rental properties to make them habitable. Under the California Civil Code of 1941, habitable rental units must have functional gas, heat, electrical, and plumbing systems. hygienic conditions with adequate garbage containers; work sink, toilet and bath or shower; emergency and fire exits; functional smoke detectors and latch locks on all exterior doors.
Air conditioning is not on the list of features that owners must provide with an apartment, so tenants cannot force a landlord to install air conditioning. However, the rule contains a long list of exceptions. For example, if an air conditioner violates building codes or prevents a window from locking, a landlord can prohibit its use. Pickard says the law allows for certain cases where window units can`t be installed, but it`s best to see what your lease is and learn more about the law. “They kind of pulled me aside and said, oh, we`re going to tell the manager that you have concerns about legality,” Sidman said. “The next day, they sent an email clarifying their policy, which really changed their policy, to say that window units are now allowed.” If the landlord does not repair the broken window air conditioner, the tenant should discuss the problem with the landlord. Since a broken air conditioner does not usually make the rental unit uninhabitable, a tenant should not consider withholding rent or repairing air conditioning and deducting repair costs from rent. The landlord`s failure to repair the air conditioning may result in a breach of contract. The tenant could demand a rent reduction or sue the landlord.
Senate Bill 1536 was passed this year to ease restrictions on air conditioning in homes. But the general wording of the law allows homeowners to ban air conditioning units for many reasons. For example, property owners and managers can ban these units if they can damage buildings, cause security concerns, or block the necessary access to the apartment. None of this was a problem at Haworth Terrace Apartments until the Senate Bill became law in 1536. In fact, there are already structures outside housing units to hold a window air conditioning unit. “On Monday, just when the first very hot day was supposed to happen, I had only bought one wearable device anyway, so I didn`t violate the policy,” Sidman said. “But they sent an email saying that units were not allowed in the window, and that really made me angry because we had a heat wave.” On Monday, as temperatures hovered around 100 degrees and the worst heat wave of the week was yet to come, residents of a Tigard apartment complex received a notice that air conditioning on windows was banned. The email, which was reviewed by The Oregonian/OregonLive, indicated that tenants who had not removed the units could be fined $50. Apart from these guidelines, there are factors specific to each installation, such as the size and weight of the air conditioner, the width of the window, the depth of the windowsill, the condition of the window frame, whether the device is installed at the top or bottom of the window opening, and how much air conditioning outside the window extends.