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We just bought a house and the sellers agreed to rent the house till closing ( A month away). During inspection the AC was possibly working. We came for a walk through the day before we were to move in and AC was blowing air but couldn't tell anything more. Next day it got really hot though ACs fan was running. Emailed sellers and was told that I 'froze' the AC by setting it too low (I set it to 68). Called a repair guy who says that AC is dead and quoted over $5K for a new one.Contractor has given in writing that making AC too low would not have caused this issue. Also that unit had no freon and compressor had a short. We have an attorney who is 'trying to see' what he can do. What options do we have at this time? Any advice would be much appreciated.

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In practice it's pretty much impossibly for a seller to end up keeping a EMD in California, the market I'm familiar with... (more)

fourchar (Aug. 05, 2016 @ 6:47a) |

This.  I just had this happen with a 10 year old unit.  R-22.  Leaking coil, exposed by a frozen coil.  It stung to repl... (more)

digduggler (Aug. 05, 2016 @ 10:20a) |

Should have bought a Chevy.

scrouds (Aug. 07, 2016 @ 10:36a) |

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Your most probable option is to come up with the money and fix it.

@Argyl
We did do a home inspection and I think the AC was working at that time. Isn't that what you expect to see during walk through? My point is that we did not know that AC was not working till 8-10 hrs after moving in as the temperature was rising. The contractor confirmed the same that this was not serviced for a long time.

Welcome to being a homeowner!!

drpepper7 said:   Called a repair guy who says that AC is dead and quoted over $5K for a new one.Contractor has given in writing that making AC too low would not have caused this issue. Also that unit had no freon and compressor had a short. 
Well of course they want you to put in a new one. Lot more profit in that job then replacing the compressor and recharging for $500-$1,000. The a/c in my house was installed in 1990. A few years ago it started to blow warmer each season and a tech said it's old and should be replaced since the freon is leaking. So I bought a 30 pound drum of freon from Craigslist, (no shop would sell it to me because I'm "not licensed") for $150 and added about 5 pounds using my automotive gauge set. It's been ice cold for the last two seasons and hasn't leaked out yet.

drpepper7 said:   @Argyl
We did do a home inspection and I think the AC was working at that time. Isn't that what you expect to see during walk through? My point is that we did not know that AC was not working till 8-10 hrs after moving in as the temperature was rising. The contractor confirmed the same that this was not serviced for a long time.
 

His post covered two points, home inspection and home warranty. Any appliance issue (and potentially more) that was not caught during the inspection should be covered by a one year home warranty, paid for by the seller. You did not get a home warranty?

Thanks atikovi - This person i got was a highly rated contractor per homeadvisor but I hear you..... Do you suggest i look for a repair person?

anthonyu said:   
drpepper7 said:   @Argyl
We did do a home inspection and I think the AC was working at that time. Isn't that what you expect to see during walk through? My point is that we did not know that AC was not working till 8-10 hrs after moving in as the temperature was rising. The contractor confirmed the same that this was not serviced for a long time.

His post covered two points, home inspection and home warranty. Any appliance issue (and potentially more) that was not caught during the inspection should be covered by a one year home warranty, paid for by the seller. You did not get a home warranty?

  No one told us about getting a home warranty.....Then again we have not closed and are 'renting' for this month.

drpepper7 said:   
anthonyu said:   
drpepper7 said:   @Argyl
We did do a home inspection and I think the AC was working at that time. Isn't that what you expect to see during walk through? My point is that we did not know that AC was not working till 8-10 hrs after moving in as the temperature was rising. The contractor confirmed the same that this was not serviced for a long time.

His post covered two points, home inspection and home warranty. Any appliance issue (and potentially more) that was not caught during the inspection should be covered by a one year home warranty, paid for by the seller. You did not get a home warranty?

  No one told us about getting a home warranty.....Then again we have not closed and are 'renting' for this month.

  Then you have the upper hand. Sellers must be pretty stupid. Don't close unless they cut the price. Stay over until you use up whatever deposit you paid.

drpepper7 said:   
anthonyu said:   
drpepper7 said:   @Argyl
We did do a home inspection and I think the AC was working at that time. Isn't that what you expect to see during walk through? My point is that we did not know that AC was not working till 8-10 hrs after moving in as the temperature was rising. The contractor confirmed the same that this was not serviced for a long time.

His post covered two points, home inspection and home warranty. Any appliance issue (and potentially more) that was not caught during the inspection should be covered by a one year home warranty, paid for by the seller. You did not get a home warranty?

  No one told us about getting a home warranty.....Then again we have not closed and are 'renting' for this month.

  
Just don't "close" on the house until they fix the air conditioner - I hope your lawyer wasn't stupid enough to make you sign away any more rights in exchange for renting the house.

We have $30K in escrow. We have paid $4k in rental for this month (They wanted advance). I will have to check with the attorney what we can do but thanks for telling us this option.

Can this affect our Escrow amount if we do not close?

What a mess, it will all depend on how your contract was drawn up. I would hope that until the home closes you are not homeowners you are strictly renters and thus the burden of fixing the AC would fall onto your landlord or it wouldn't be any different than if the AC failed the day before closing if you were buying and this rental situation was not involved at all.

My advice is offer to split the 5k cost with the seller.

Obviously you didn't damage anything by setting the AC too low. "Freezing the coil" is common from low refrigerant. Since AC units are sealed the only way refrigerant will be low is if there is a leak. It's typically pretty expensive to find the leak, fix it, and recharge the system. It'll be cheaper than replacing it, but do you want to drop 2k on a X year old unit versus getting everything replaced for 5k? For me it would depend on X.

How big is the AC unit? Is it on R-22? What does the $5K quote all include (condenser, coil, furnace, lineset)?

cdddazz said:   How big is the AC unit? Is it on R-22? What does the $5K quote all include (condenser, coil, furnace, lineset)?
  Its a 5 Ton AC

http://tinypic.com/r/10fri3s/9 Here are the contractors notes.

This literally just happened to my parents last week (they closed Friday). One of the two AC units outside had melted wires, causing a short. I'd get a second opinion if I were you... You know that homeadvisor charges the contractors to get your contact details, right (or so I've been told)? Of course the contractor wants to make money off of you.

That's a good price for a 5 ton. I paid more than that 11 years ago!

Make sure you ask if anything else needed.
New unit might not be compatible with duct work $$$, and there may be newer installation codes

Get one other estimate at least. We did & there was a 6k+ difference. The high one was the company that had tv ads saying how they'll treat you like family blah blah blah. I'd like to punch the owner in the nose. Cause without my knowledge previously this ripoff company charged us 3-4x going rate to change out the kitchen faucet. But minus that it, it did save us 6k.

The "notes" are interesting, but that is a terrible work order. What is the $5136 for?

A repair? A new outdoor unit? A new indoor unit? Both? Is the lineset which it says is needed included? Does replacing the lineset require disrupting drywall and/or ceilings? If so, is restoration included? What models of equipment? What make?

What size? Is the 5 ton the right size? An oversized unit is bad news. What is the efficiency rating? The minimum 13 SEER, or something else? Is the ducting compatible with a new system? 

What additional work is needed? (e.g. drains, overflow shut offs, duct transitions, electrical work?) Does the $5136 include all labor? Are permits required? Are permits extra? Is a new pad required? Is the existing location and electrical service up to code?  What is the equipment warranty?  What is the labor warranty?  Where are the references for the contractor doing great work?  Do you want a high efficiency ECM blower?  Is the new system eligible for utility rebates or tax incentives?  Do you want it to be? 

What grades of systems are available?  Do you want an air cleaner?  Is the system a heat pump or a straight cooling system only?  Do you also have a gas furnace that will be part of the overall HVAC system? 

You need a second opinion before installing a new system. And a third opinion. And proper sizing guidance.

Sounds like he was just writting things up to get to that price. No Freon but was working during inspection? Unit froze up? I believe that's a 1k job at the most.

That work order looks like crap which makes me very suspicious of the contractor. I would get a 2nd opinion or better yet, make the owner (since you are still renting), fix it.

drpepper7 said:   We have $30K in escrow. We have paid $4k in rental for this month (They wanted advance). I will have to check with the attorney what we can do but thanks for telling us this option.
So, if you delay the closing, even with good cause, will you keep paying $4k a month? You are better off solving the problem now than delaying the closing.

get an appion g5, a recovery tank, some sil-flo, a brazing torch, a tank of r22, and get to work homie. dont cry like a helpless infant at the mercy of these contractor people. this is fatwallet, we practice self-sufficency and getting the job done for heavens sake.

even the most useless inspection should have noted if the A/C was blowing at 15 degrees below ambient, i would throw this back at the inspector as well

-so no matter what temp you select, be it 75 or 68, it will only blow 15 degrees (if it's operating correctly) below ambient until it hits the selected temp

atikovi said:   
drpepper7 said:   
anthonyu said:   
drpepper7 said:   @Argyl
We did do a home inspection and I think the AC was working at that time. Isn't that what you expect to see during walk through? My point is that we did not know that AC was not working till 8-10 hrs after moving in as the temperature was rising. The contractor confirmed the same that this was not serviced for a long time.

His post covered two points, home inspection and home warranty. Any appliance issue (and potentially more) that was not caught during the inspection should be covered by a one year home warranty, paid for by the seller. You did not get a home warranty?

  No one told us about getting a home warranty.....Then again we have not closed and are 'renting' for this month.

  Then you have the upper hand. Sellers must be pretty stupid. Don't close unless they cut the price. Stay over until you use up whatever deposit you paid.

  The OP has to pull out his contract to see who has the responsibility for various breakdowns during this period. The way that the vast majority of real estate purchase contracts that I've ever come across work is that the purchaser's inspection/due diligence period is much shorter than the length of the contract. Hence, if the purchaser fails to identify issues during the inspection/due diligence period, those issues become the purchaser's responsibility, except that the seller remains responsible for the damage he/she/it causes after the inspection (typically physical move-out damage).

The complicating factor is the rental period, as it could've been structured with either the purchaser or the seller being responsible for all the breakdowns taking place during the rental period. Either way, the contractual language of the agreement is what should dictate the party responsible for the damage.

I would discuss this with the home inspector first. If you have a contingency on inspection then that will give you more leverage.

geo123 said:     The OP has to pull out his contract to see who has the responsibility for various breakdowns during this period. The way that the vast majority of real estate purchase contracts that I've ever come across work is that the purchaser's inspection/due diligence period is much shorter than the length of the contract. Hence, if the purchaser fails to identify issues during the inspection/due diligence period, those issues become the purchaser's responsibility, except that the seller remains responsible for the damage he/she/it causes after the inspection (typically physical move-out damage).

The complicating factor is the rental period, as it could've been structured with either the purchaser or the seller being responsible for all the breakdowns taking place during the rental period. Either way, the contractual language of the agreement is what should dictate the party responsible for the damage.
 

it is tricky indeed. i am inclined to think that the seller is on the hook for this repair unless he snuck some language in unbeknownst to OP. hopefully OP read the contract carefully and there was no verbiage about him being responsible for repair during tenancy (because that would be pretty dumb).....OP, do you have the rental contract? if it's a standard one, then it should stipulate that landlord (owner) is responsible for a habitable unit. i would push on this. LL typically has a duty to repair AC, regardless of whether or not there's a sale pending.

read the contract. apply pressure to the weak points of it, however small.

taylor0987 said:   I would discuss this with the home inspector first. If you have a contingency on inspection then that will give you more leverage.
  waste of time. OP said unit was working at time of inspection. besides, inspectors will reliably try to weasel out of everything.

OP - get another quote. i just had one HVAC company tell me the compressor was shot, and they don't make a replacement anymore (so ~$1.5k for outside unit)...i got another opinion and it was just a capacitor swap, done in an hour for next to nothing.

What you can do is pretty much what you already know...buy the new unit. Lesson learned.

First off, what does the contract say? Ours was made to be so specific by our attorney because he wanted to change "refrigerator" to "working refrigerators" because there was an extra one in the garage. Does the contract state anything about the malfunction of major appliances prior to closing or something similar?

jaytrader said:   First off, what does the contract say? Ours was made to be so specific by our attorney because he wanted to change "refrigerator" to "working refrigerators" because there was an extra one in the garage. Does the contract state anything about the malfunction of major appliances prior to closing or something similar?
  As an fyi, if your purchase contract said that the seller is responsible for the malfunction of major appliances prior to closing, you had a really dumb and/or poorly represented seller. Such a provision would be highly unusual in a residential real estate contract (at least the ones that I am familiar with). The very reason that the inspection/due diligence period is almost always significantly shorter than the length of the contract is because as a seller, you want to limit the time period during which the purchaser can walk away or to demand concessions for the types of things that should be identified during an inspection.

In other words, sellers should be okay with giving purchasers a week or so to inspect the property and to attempt to negotiate repair concessions. If the negotiations break down at that point, the contract is terminated, the house goes back on the market and the seller doesn't lose all that much marketing time. Agreeing, however, to be responsible for all major appliances during the entire length of the purchase contract essentially nullifies the point of the inspection/due diligence contingency and sets up the seller for a negotiation at the closing table, at which point the seller has way more to lose.

solarUS said:   
geo123 said:     The OP has to pull out his contract to see who has the responsibility for various breakdowns during this period. The way that the vast majority of real estate purchase contracts that I've ever come across work is that the purchaser's inspection/due diligence period is much shorter than the length of the contract. Hence, if the purchaser fails to identify issues during the inspection/due diligence period, those issues become the purchaser's responsibility, except that the seller remains responsible for the damage he/she/it causes after the inspection (typically physical move-out damage).

The complicating factor is the rental period, as it could've been structured with either the purchaser or the seller being responsible for all the breakdowns taking place during the rental period. Either way, the contractual language of the agreement is what should dictate the party responsible for the damage.

it is tricky indeed. i am inclined to think that the seller is on the hook for this repair unless he snuck some language in unbeknownst to OP. hopefully OP read the contract carefully and there was no verbiage about him being responsible for repair during tenancy (because that would be pretty dumb).....OP, do you have the rental contract? if it's a standard one, then it should stipulate that landlord (owner) is responsible for a habitable unit. i would push on this. LL typically has a duty to repair AC, regardless of whether or not there's a sale pending.

read the contract. apply pressure to the weak points of it, however small.
When the rental period is incidental to a purchase, it may be structured as either the seller or the purchaser being responsible for the breakdowns during the rental period. For very short periods, there may not even be an actual rental agreement, as some parties just insert a brief paragraph or two into the purchase agreement.

This is actually the reason that smart sellers stay away from these types of arrangements, and smart purchasers do not allow the sellers to retain occupancy after they close. These types of issues are common, are frequently poorly addressed in residential documentation and end up greatly complicating the process.
  

geo123 said:   
This is actually the reason that smart sellers stay away from these types of arrangements, and smart purchasers do not allow the sellers to retain occupancy after they close. These types of issues are common, are frequently poorly addressed in residential documentation and end up greatly complicating the process.
  
 

yeah, as a seller i would be extremely disinclined to allow a buyer to rent a house prior to closing.

especially in this market. 

zapjb said:   Get one other estimate at least. We did & there was a 6k+ difference. The high one was the company that had tv ads saying how they'll treat you like family blah blah blah. I'd like to punch the owner in the nose. Cause without my knowledge previously this ripoff company charged us 3-4x going rate to change out the kitchen faucet. But minus that it, it did save us 6k.
 
This.
When I replaced my HVAC (furnace and AC) I got 4 or 5 quotes. For comparable units (Trane vs. Lennox) with same efficiency I got quotes from $5k - $11k. Ended up going with a small, local family run shop. The big guys weren't even close on price.

You are not entitled to a new unit in any regard.  That is like expecting new shingles on a house with 10-15 years of use with 15-20 year life span.  You are entitled to have it working while renting probably, depending on agreement.  Get 2 other opinions from HVAC guys and tell them you want to know how much a repair will be.  Many people are not repairmen they are just replaceman...  Sounds like you found the latter.  Now if the repair is say 1-2k offer to take that as a concession from the seller and maybe buy a new unit with you paying the difference.

atikovi said:   
drpepper7 said:   Called a repair guy who says that AC is dead and quoted over $5K for a new one.Contractor has given in writing that making AC too low would not have caused this issue. Also that unit had no freon and compressor had a short. 
Well of course they want you to put in a new one. Lot more profit in that job then replacing the compressor and recharging for $500-$1,000.
There's no way to replace the compressor and recharge a 5 ton unit for anything even close to $500. The OP would most likely be looking at $1,200-$1,500.

I would not even consider doing this without knowing the age of the system and the location of the leak. If the system is old (which, in this case, would mean 12+ years), the OP's best course of action is, in fact, to replace the entire system. Likewise, if it's the A-coil that's leaking, replacing the compressor and recharging the system would mean rolling the dice on the leaks. If the A-coil leaks are significant, the OP could find himself in the exact same predicament very shortly thereafter, and replacing the A-coil, compressor and re-charging the system would never make any financial sense.
  

Skipping 111 Messages...
rufflesinc said:   atikovi said:   rufflesinc said:     ironically, when the engine becomes stopped at a red light, your A/C no longer works!
  No problem. Luxury cars have electric compressors now. 

My 2016 Mercedes has a notable drop off in ac 0erformance

Should have bought a Chevy.



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