Landlord's Responsibility for Lack of Heat

Last Wednesday morning the apartment in front of ours caught on fire. Everyone made it out okay, thank God because they all had children. Our apartment is fine, however the gas line was under the apartment that caught fire so they turned our gas off, so we have no heat. We do have an 8 year old living with us, and the landlord just offered to take $50 off of our rent. The apartment is at 39 degrees. We are not under a lease any more, it expired. Is there anything we can do?

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February 5, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't know which state you live in, but in Kansas, a landlord is required to provide heat for all tenants (I know because I'm a landlord). I would remind him ASAP that he has a responsibility to provide heat for your apartment, which means getting the gas line fixed as quickly as possible (put it in writing!). I would also remind him that if you incur any extra charges (having to use an electric heater) to heat your apartment, he will be responsible for those extra charges. And most importantly of all: document EVERYTHING -- every conversation, every electric bill, receipt(s) for electric heater -- EVERY detail related to this. If any problems arise, you will need all of that documentation in hand. Taking him to small claims court may ultimately be your course of action, but hopefully he'll get things fixed without you having to do that. Some landlords need to be reminded that tenants have rights too. Good luck!

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February 22, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

I hope you have been able to stay warm but hopefully it was not at great expense to you.

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  • In most states there are very strict rules/laws for landlords (and tenants) that clearly state what responsibilities each have in a rental agreement.
  • These responsibilities remain the same whether you are under a lease or if you are just paying by the month. As long as you are paying your rent, these laws apply.
  • Hopefully, you notified your landlord and they took care of problem quickly without any cost to you.
  • If this did not happen then you can make contact with your state services:
  • Google "landlord problems state and local building and health codes" with your zip code. This should give you the information about how to deal with your problem and if you had to spend money then you can find out how to receive reimbursement from your landlord.
  • If you are wondering exactly what responsibilities a landlord has you can check any of the following sites (but remember - some laws differ with each state):
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  • www.legalzoom.com/.../real-estate-series-part-ii-what-is...
  • oklaw.org/.../landlord-tenant-rights-and-duties
  • realestate.findlaw.com/.../landlords-duties-regarding-repairs...
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February 4, 20180 found this helpful

All depends if you want to move or not. Is the monthly rent reasonable, do you have to pay utilities, if not then buy yourself an electric heater with the $50 off of your rent and you will have warmth in your apartment.

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February 4, 20180 found this helpful

Do you know when the gas line can be turned back on? Or who handles that.

In the mean time can you use an electric portable heater?

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February 5, 20180 found this helpful

Yes, they said it could take up to a month to fix, but when we called the gas company they said they couldn't start till the landlord did something on his end. When we asked him about it, he said he didn't know what they were talking about. We bought a decent heater but our electric is going to sky rocket

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February 4, 20180 found this helpful

You should have it in writing from them that they are handling the issue promptly. In the meantime, do get a portable heater with the $50.

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February 5, 20180 found this helpful

You can get one of these for about 36.00 at Walmart. They circulate oil so they are very efficient and can easily roll around the house.

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But yes, get some assurance that your gas will be turned on soon. You can even call the gas company and find out for your apt. I hope you get heat back soon.

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February 5, 20180 found this helpful

In NY a landlord must keep the apartment at 68 during the day and 62 at night if the temperature drops below 55 from October to May. $50 is not going to cut it. Hopefully you have old electric bills to show how much you usually spend. He will have to pay the difference

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February 6, 20180 found this helpful

Did you have renter's insurance? If so, contact them right away. They will probably put you up in a hotel until the repairs are done. Your landlord has insurance too, that should cover this but sometimes you need your own person at bat.

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If you don't have renter's insurance, contact your county or state housing department for assistance. Good luck and stay warm!

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