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Legally cool

Most state and local laws don’t require landlords to provide a cooling system for their rentals. If air conditioning is provided as an amenity or listed in the Lease Agreement, a landlord may be required to maintain those systems. Portland, Ore. passed an ordinance in 2022 outlawing lease provisions that ban the use of air conditioners in rentals, which was in response to the high number of heat-related deaths that occurred during a massive heat wave the year before. 

Landlords are legally obligated to provide a habitable rental unit, but even when temperatures are dangerously hot, this typically doesn’t extend to the provision of cooling systems. Still, landlords who don’t provide proper ventilation in their units, or fail to maintain air conditioning units that are included as part of the lease could potentially face liability for any heat-related injuries that occur as a result. Regardless of state and local laws, it’s important to clarify whether you provide AC or other cooling systems and the terms for maintenance are clearly outlined. 

The Air Conditioned States of America

Some places do specifically require landlords to either provide or maintain cooling systems for tenants. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Arizona: Landlords must maintain working AC or evaporative cooling units in apartments where they are offered. Utilities may not be cut off for nonpayment of rent.
  • Phoenix, AZ: Rooms with AC must not exceed 82 degrees, while units with evaporative coolers must not exceed 86 degrees.
  • Tempe, AZ: Landlords must provide AC units for rental units.
  • New Orleans, LA: Landlords must provide cooling to keep units at or below 80 degrees.
  • Dallas, TX: Landlords must provide AC units for rental units.
  • Montgomery County, MD: 2022 law requires most rental units to be equipped with cooling systems that maintain a temperature of no more than 80 degrees.
  • District of Columbia: Landlords must maintain cooling systems in rental units that already have them.

If you are unsure whether air conditioning is required for residential rentals in your area, reaching out to a Rocket Legal Pro™ is an easy and reliable way to get affordable legal advice.

Rocket Lawyer helps landlords keep their cool

  1. Register your rental business.
    Registering your rental business as an LLC can help you protect your personal assets in the event of financial difficulties or legal trouble. With a Rocket Legal+ membership, your first business registration filing is FREE (excluding state fees).
  2. Talk to a Legal Pro.
    When you have a question, access to experienced Legal Pros puts you in a better position to make the right decisions. Rocket Lawyer members can ask questions to and consult with Legal Pros quickly and easily.
  3. Get everything legal, all in one place.
    Whether you rent out apartments in several buildings or just have one unit, operating a rental business requires the right legal support. From personalized documents for landlords to getting your leases signed electronically with Rocket Sign, and even help with filing your taxes, let Rocket Lawyer be your one-stop shop for all things legal.



This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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