Common Questions on HVAC Repairs
When a work request is received into our office for an Air Conditioning or Heat related matter, we take that request with the utmost seriousness and order of importance. This information sheet will help answer some of the most Frequently Asked Questions and or pending concerns you may have.
When will this repair be completed? Under ordinary circumstances, once the repair request is put into the system, it will usually take at least 1 to 3 business days to get a technician to the home to assess the issues that have occurred. In some cases, parts may need to be ordered which can delay the repair. For fastest service, we would encourage the tenant to make arrangements for an appointment as soon as possible during the business day in order to facilitate the fastest response and repair time. Late Friday work orders only delay the process.
Since this is South Carolina, is this considered an emergency? NO. Although we take it as a very serious matter, the South Carolina Landlord Tenant Act and Our lease agreement DO NOT consider this an emergency. Here is the portion of a Lease Agreement referring to Repairs.
RE: Exhibit “B” Resident’s Maintenance Agreement. Item #9
9. Emergency Calls: Emergency defined: Anything relating to the Premises under the lease that is threatening to life, health, or the Premises. Fire (please call 911), flood, sewage back-ups, gas odors (call gas company), broken water pipes, tree falling on house, call the Management immediately.
Can I just call my own repairman or fix it myself? NO. The lease agreement strictly prohibits allowing for any repairs outside of the landlord’s (or property manager’s) permission. If a tenant orders a repair and pays for it, the landlord is NOT obligated to reimburse the tenant for that repair. In some cases, this could worsen the damage which would be attributed to tenant negligence and lead to further charges.
RE: Paragraph 22. C. of Empire Property Management Lease.
(c) Resident warrants that any repairs, refurbishments or work performed on the Premises by Resident or performed by anyone hired, retained or appointed by Resident, will be done in a good and workmanlike manner and will be undertaken only by licensed, insured and qualified professionals under the direct supervision of the Resident, who will be fully accountable for all payments for said improvements, and to hold Management free from harm or loss arising from claims of any other parties, regardless of cause, which might result from said work.
We want reimbursement for a Hotel, Meals, and Rent for being inconvenienced! Although we do understand this is an unfortunate event, the Lease Agreement and the South Carolina Landlord Tenant Act do not call for any type of mandatory reimbursement in this situation as long as we are making every diligent effort to make this repair in a timely manner. “The Tenant Act presumes that 14 days is a reasonable period of time for the Landlord to assess the situation and 30 days to make a diligent effort to repair a condition….”
We want this repair done on Sunday so we don’t have to take off of work! We understand this is quite a concern as taking off of work could mean lost income to the family, and is very in-convenient. We will do our best to accommodate a tenant’s schedule as best as we can, but in most cases, the repair has to be done during normal business hours Monday to Friday.
RE: Para 8. A. Right of Access of the Empire Property Management Lease.
Management’s policy is to respect Resident’s right of privacy, and right of quite enjoyment of the Premises, and will attempt to contact Resident prior to visiting the Property. Management shall have the right of access of Premises for inspection and maintenance between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, except in case of emergency, as defined at the sole discretion of Management. Management may enter at any time to protect life or prevent damage to the Premises.
We could not meet the repair person at the time we arranged with Empire Property Management – will there be a trip fee? In this scenario where a technician is called to the home, EPMG would be charged a trip fee, and – unfortunately - we would have to pass it along to the tenant for payment.
RE: Exhibit “B” Resident’s Maintenance Agreement. Item #5
5. Missed Appointment Fees: If Resident sets appointments with Management staff or vendors and does not show up, Resident agrees to pay a $75 missed appointment fee.
If we don’t get this repair done in the next 8 hours, we are contacting our attorney! In the past, we have had tenants say exactly this to us. As discussed above, we want this repair to be done quickly – but at the same time, we have to protect the best interests of the Landlord and their home. Often times, this does NOT include paying for emergency after hours calls for something that can wait until the next business day. Should you feel this situation warrants attorney involvement, we ask you provide them a copy of the lease agreement you have with us, and they can best advise you on any questions you may have regarding legal action.
Will you charge me for this repair? In some cases – YES! There have been instances where we have charged the tenant for HVAC repairs because of negligence on their part. The most common example is by the tenant NOT changing the AC Filter. Changing the AC Filter is required per the lease agreement. Leaving a dirty and or clogged filter in the air exchange will cause the system to work harder than it should have to in order to cool the home. If the HVAC Tech indicates the dirty air filter was the cause for the HVAC failure, it will be charged to the tenant.
Where do I find out more information about the South Carolina Landlord Tenant Act and our Lease Agreement? www.empirepmgroup.com
Should you have any further questions regarding any of the HVAC repair concerns – you may email us to Info@EMPIREPMGROUP.com or call 803.753.1446.