Renters' Rights When It Comes To AC - WSPA.com

Renters' Rights When It Comes To AC

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GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. - After living in the Upstate for four decades, Eddie Watley, Jr. is well aware of what summer means in the south.

"It's rough, when it hits 90 something, it's rough," said Eddie.

And even more so this summer. Eddie says his air conditioning went out about five months ago. To get by, he bought a window unit and uses fans, while he waits for his landlord to act.

"Keep telling me the same thing, she's doing all that she can to get it fixed," said Eddie.

Local relief organizations tell us there's a big need for heat relief all over the Upstate. The Salvation Army of Greenville County gives away fans to help those with no air. It handed out five just in the last couple weeks.

Major Kent Davis says depending on the situation, they'll even make a call to your landlord to help you get the air going again.

Under the South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Act, your landlord is obligated to keep AC in good, working condition for the duration of your lease. 

State law does not list air conditioning as an "essential service" as it does heat (#17 in Section 27-40-210).

A Spartanburg County Magistrate Court Judge told us, that means renters should make sure the AC is working before you move in to avoid any problems down the road. 

He says you can request a rent adjustment, until the AC is fixed. Otherwise, you may have to take your landlord to civil court for results. 

And request that your landlord put in writing that they'll adjust the rent if they don't repair the AC in a certain time frame.

Eddie says a lot of people in his building moved out because of the problem. He says his plan is to wait it out for a fix, at least, for this month.

"By next month, it going to probably hit 100," said Eddie.

We called Eddie's landlord to ask about his building's AC but haven't heard back.

If your air stops working, there are resources available.

The Salvation Army of Greenville County is still offering free fans. It is also accepting fan donations to keep the program going strong this summer. For more information, call (864) 235-4803.

You can also call 211 to find other resources in your area that offer free fans or help paying utility bills this summer.
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