In Florida, one of the hottest states in America year-round, landlords are required by law to provide tenants with “functioning facilities for heat during winter.” They don’t have to do the same for air conditioning.
It’s an absurd oversight, said Michael Grieco, a state Representative from Miami Beach who aims to correct the issue through legislation this Session.
“I almost fell over when I found out about it,” he told Florida Politics. “I’ll be filing a bill to address that specific issue, and we’ll see if it gets any traction.”
Florida Statute provides that landlords must comply with building, housing and health codes. They must maintain to “good repair” roofs, windows, screens, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations and “all other structural components” to resist normal forces and loads. Similarly, plumbing must be kept in “reasonable working condition.”
Based on whether the property is an apartment, duplex, single-family home or mobile home, landlords must also “make reasonable provisions” for locks, keys, clean and safe common areas, outside trash receptacles, garbage removal, smoke detectors, running water, hot water, the extermination of pests and working heating facilities.
The only mention of air conditioning in the statute, which spans 27 printable pages, requires tenants to “use and operate in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators.”
Grieco said he hopes his forthcoming bill receives bipartisan support. He’s not sure it will, considering the current political climate.
“I don’t know the legislative history behind this law,” he said. “It’ll be interesting if there’s push back after I file the bill and where it comes from — if there’s some organized opposition to it from landlords, because tenants generally don’t have organized support or oppositional defense. It may also not be consistent with the controlling party’s anti-regulation/deregulation of the state. I think it’s kind of an easy one, but we’ll see if they’re willing to run it.”