Tennessee renters don’t have a proper to air con – FOX13 Information Memphis

August 15, 2022   |   by Noah Franklin

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In this sweltering hot weather, Tennessee law doesn’t require landlords to provide air conditioning to tenants.

“It’s a bit of a gray area,” explained attorney Michael Working. “It depends on the judge you’re in front of about whether or not that’s essential.”

Tennessee’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act requires a landlord to provide essential services like water, gas, and other utilities.

However, the law does not specifically define AC as essential.

Working wants lawmakers to change that.

“I think it goes without saying that air conditioning with a heat index of 114 is essential,” Working said.

One Raleigh resident contacted FOX13’s reporter Kate Bieri, desperate for help after he said he lost air conditioning last Friday.

“I pay rent on time and I’ve been doing it for three years now,” he said. “I think everybody needs air right now.”

The resident did not want to be identified because he worried his landlord would punish him for talking to FOX13.

However, he was shocked to learn that air conditioning is not an explicit guarantee under the law.

“I have asthma and I’m just trying to stay as cool as possible,” he said.

Working reminded all renters to document every complaint with their landlord in writing.

“If you don’t document it in writing in Tennessee, you don’t have a case,” he said.

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