Florida law requires landlords to provide heat, not air conditioning. Michael Grieco wants to fix that

In Florida, one of America’s hottest year-round states, landlords are required by law to provide tenants with “functioning winter heat facilities.” They don’t have to do the same for air conditioning.

It’s an absurd mistake, said Michael Grieco, a Miami Beach state representative who wants to rectify this session through legislation.

“I almost fell over when I found out,” he told Florida Politics. “I’ll be introducing a bill to address that particular issue, and we’ll see if it gains any traction.”

Florida Statute specifies that landlords must comply with building, housing, and health codes. They must “maintain” roofs, windows, screens, doors, floors, stairs, porches, exterior walls, foundations and “all other structural components” to withstand normal forces and loads. Likewise, plumbing must be kept in “reasonable condition”.

Based on whether the property is an apartment, duplex, single-family, or mobile home, landlords must also make “reasonable provisions” for locks, keys, clean and secure common areas, outdoor trash cans, garbage disposal, smoke detectors, running water, hot water, pest control and working heating systems.

The only mention of air conditioning in the statute, which spans 27 printable pages, requires tenants to use “all electrical, plumbing, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other amenities and appliances, including elevators, in a reasonable manner and serve.”

Grieco said he hopes his upcoming bill will get bipartisan support. He is not sure if that will happen, given the current political climate.

“I don’t know the legal history behind this law,” he said. “It’ll be interesting if there’s back pressure after I’ve introduced the bill and where it’s coming from — if there’s organized opposition from landlords, because tenants generally don’t have organized support or oppositional defense.” It may also not be consistent with the state’s anti-regulation/deregulation by the controlling party. I think it’s a bit easy, but we’ll see if they’re willing to do it.”

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