Summer is officially here, and instead of getting ready for the sweltering weather to come, Western New York residents are already feeling the heat. 

Temperatures have rapidly risen throughout Buffalo week, and now we’re dealing with the hot and sticky weather that comes with it. Rather than sweating it out, those lucky enough to have air-conditioning may decide to blast that cool air to avoid melting the rest of this week. 

But if you’re a renter here in Western New York, your access to A/C has potential to be hit or miss, depending on what your landlord allows and/or provides.

If you’re a renter who doesn’t have a portable or window-based air-conditioning unit nor central air in your Buffalo area apartment, is your landlord required to provide it for you?

READ MORE: How To Make A Homemade Air-Conditioner


Your Rights As A Renter In Western New York

After signing a lease to rent an apartment in Buffalo, you’re entitled to several things to protect you.

The biggest thing here in Western New York is the right to have heat in your apartment during the winter months. According to the New York State Tenant’s Rights Guide put out by the NY Attorney General, 

“Heat must be supplied from October 1 through May 31 to tenants in multiple dwellings.”

If the outdoor temperature falls below 55°F between the hours of six a.m. and ten p.m., landlords must make sure that units are heated to at least 68°F. If it falls below 40°F between 10 pm and 6 am, apartments have to be at least 55°F.

Renters also have the right to see the apartment’s past two years’ worth of heating bills. It’s worth checking out before you sign your lease, so you’ll gauge how to budget appropriately. 

But the last thing renters are worrying about during these steamy summer weeks is access to heat in our dwelling. Are landlords required to help keep us cool, as well? 

Western New York: Are Your Landlords Required To Provide Air-Conditioning?


If you’re wondering if air-conditioning has to be provided during the hot summer months, that answer can be a little tricky. 

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If your rented house or apartment had working A/C or central air when it was originally leased to you, but the unit isn’t working, your landlord is technically required to fix it or replace it. According to attorney Matthew S. Chase, an attorney and tenant lawyer, 

 “In essence, you have the right to the premises as when it was leased to you, that is, with all the amenities as when it was shown to you. If they refuse the repair of the central A/C, you can be released from the lease.”

It’s recommended that before you even move into a rented unit with air-conditioning that you ask the landlord to provide a clause in your lease with a procedure to follow in case it stops working or needs repairs. 

The Good And Bad News For Renters In Western New York

Unfortunately for hot Buffalo, New York residents with a lease, the state doesn’t consider air-conditioning to be a “necessity” for renters, and there’s no requirement that a landlord provides one during the summer. 

But, you could take matters into your own hands and buy your own air-conditioner if you choose. (There are some catches though, depending on if you pay your own electricity bill or if your landlord does.)

If you use a service like National Grid or another utility company to personally pay your electric bill, and you purchase an air conditioner that’s a window unit, your landlord may collect a $5 per-month charge for each until that extends outside the window line, and you can’t remove it until your landlord gives you the ok. 

If your landlord pays your electric bill, your landlord may charge you a surcharge for the use of electricity that the air conditioner uses. 
For more info, click here, and let’s try to keep our cool this summer, Western New York!

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