Should my landlord clean the air ducts?

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Should my landlord clean the air ducts?

We live in a townhome built 29 years ago. It seems that the air ducts have never been cleaned. As a result, my family is suffering severe allergies since we moved in. The allergist asked us to take a photo of the vents to check if they were clean. We did that and we found a built up of dust, debris, even food and toys. We have been breathing all this for this months. Also, the heat is not efficient; it takes hours to heat up to 65 degrees in winter and sometimes doesn’t go above that. It seems that the problem in the air flow is also affecting efficiency.The landlord doesn’t want to pay for that. What can I do?

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you need to do is obtain an estimate for the cleaning of the air ducts in the rental and provide a copy of this to the landlord for his or her review with an accompanying letter stating the health concerns for having dirty air ducts separate and apart from the additional energy costs for heating and cooling the unit due to the current situaiton keeping a copy for yourself and wait to see the response.

In the interim, carefully read the lease agreement in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. Look to see who has the responsibility of maintaining the unit. Most likely it is the landlord. If so, then you have some additional information to pressure the landlord to clean the ducts.

Another option is to consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation.

The last thing to do is have the health department inspect the unit's ducts. If the health department determines that the ducts are a health hazard, your landlord will be forced to get them cleaned.

Good luck.


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