When I bought my first home my Dad was my realtor. I had found a house I really liked and wanted to put an offer on it. The first thing my Dad brought to my attention was the age of the air conditioning unit. Even growing up here in the desert, that had not crossed my mind. He pointed out that the A/C unit was nearly 20 years old and that I should plan on replacing it within the next few years. I purchased the home and sure enough, I had to replace that unit within 2 years. Now because my Dad had brought that to my attention and educated me, when the time came to drop several thousands on a new A/C system, I was okay with it because I knew the day would come and I was prepared for it.
When I first got into property management 7 years ago, about 90% of my clients were from California. I was absolutely shocked at how many of them did not fully understand what they were up against as far as the extreme heat that we deal with here in Arizona. Apparently their real estate agent forgot to mention that it gets so hot here you can cook an egg on the hood of your car.
The absolute worst call that I have to make as a property manager is informing an owner that their A/C unit needs to be replaced. I dread it. I would rather pay a visit to the dentist than make that call. The reason is because I never know the response I am going to get. Due to my profession and education, I know that the owner does not have a choice, yet so many think they do. I have had responses like “no, I don’t have the money” or “can you give me a couple of days to think about it?” The answer is, no, I can’t. You are legally obligated to handle it quickly. Arizona law protects tenants and actually considers it an emergency when air conditioning is down due to the fact that it impacts the health, safety, and welfare of the tenant. Now most of my clients do handle it professionally and quickly, and that is always a huge relief to me!
Whether you are purchasing or currently own rental property in Arizona, it is important understand the law. It is also vital to know the age and condition of your A/C units. As stated in my previous blog post, be prepared. If you have an A/C unit that is over 10 years old, be ready for the day it needs to be replaced. A $3000-$4000 dollar expense is so much easier to deal with when you see it coming.