When Does “No Heat” Mean “Uninhabitable?”
Are you currently a tenant who is living with no heat in your rental house or apartment? Does your rental house or apartment have a hot water issue? Are you wondering if it is actually safe to live at your rental house or apartment without heat or hot water?
Determining whether or not a living space is “inhabitable” can be challenging because the guidelines for making that determination tend to vary. However, hot water is a basic necessity that must be provided in every jurisdiction in order for a rental house or apartment to be considered “livable.” According to landlordstation.com, a hot water issue generally qualifies as a 24-hour emergency repair.
If you have no heat or a hot water issue on your hands, you should notify your owner or property manager immediately. Your owner or property management should respond in a timely manner. If no response and the need for a second notification is necessary you should provide it in written form to your landlord or property manager notifying him or her of the issue. Make sure you keep a copy of the notification for your records. If the repair is not made within a reasonable amount of time of your landlord receiving the notification, it may be grounds for you to seek other remedies or break your lease.
If you do not necessarily want to move out of your rental house or apartment, but want the issue taken care of and your landlord is not responding to your written notification, there are some other ways that you can handle this situation. One reasonable response is arranging to have the repairs made yourself and then deduct the cost of the repairs from your rent and providing an invoice to your landlord.
As a tenant, you have the right to live in a home that meets your basic needs. If you are dealing with a heat or hot water issue and would like more information to help you determine whether or not your rental house or apartment might be “uninhabitable,” feel free to give us a call at Authority Property Management! We are property managers in Redding who have over twenty years of experience doing property management in Redding and all over Shasta County. We would love to help you in any way we can! Give us a call at (530) 410-6085!
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