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  1. #1
    Hank_US is offline Junior Member
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    How long can we go w/o heat before the landlord remedies?

    Warren County, New Jersey


    We are a family of six renting a single family home heated by an oil furnace and hot water radiators. The landlord passed away last year and the "Estate" is managed by a local law firm. Since I am unemployed, it took a few months to save for a minimum delivery of 150 gallons of heating oil. Before firing up the furnace for the first time this season, I requested that the furnace be serviced, especially since I saw a wet area around the furnace. I was given a number of a service tech, however he never returned my calls. Almost a week later, I was told to pick someone out of the phonebook. Five days later, a technician inspected the furnace and said the boiler needed to be replaced. The law firm sent someone else (of their choosing) the next day for a second opinion. He also said the furnace had to be replaced, but suggested that the replacement be made with a natural gas furnace. We're told the work "may" start in another five days, or four days before Christmas. We've also been told that the 150 gallons of oil is our loss since we shouldn't have ordered the fuel with the furnace being inspected, but the company doing the work would be willing take it off our hands for $ .25/gallon. No relief has been offered for attempting to heat two bedrooms with electric heaters. One can see their breath in the rest of the house, and I'm assuming it's somewhere in the 40's F.
    Does anyone know how long we legally can go without heat? It's been over two weeks, and will likely be one more before the new furnace goes online.
  2. #2
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    I'm sorry you lost all those gallons of oil.

    If the management company wants to put in gas, then they have to heat the place until the change is made.

    Start your letter writing campaign, and get your own electrical heaters at a rent reduction.

    PLEASE get an ok to do this, in a letter to the management company, 3 day wait, second letter, 3 day wait, then do it.

    If they sue you, you will have the documentation about how long they wanted you to go without heat.

    I hear you north east coast are supposed to get snow. How did that go?
  3. #3
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    BY RENT REDUCTION I MEAN-

    deduct the amount of money for the heaters from the rent, and leave them in the apartment after you move out. KEEP RECEIPTS, and do all your communication through writing.
  4. #4
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank_US View Post
    the company doing the work would be willing take it off our hands for $ .25/gallon.
    Call the oil company that you bought it from and see if they will buy it back. If not, call every other oil company you can find and see if they will buy it back.

    Put an ad on craigslist to sell it for half the going rate. Someone will buy it. If necessary, go buy 30 five gallon containers and fill them up. Sell them for whatever you can get.
  5. #5
    Searchertwin is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank_US View Post
    Warren County, New Jersey


    We are a family of six renting a single family home heated by an oil furnace and hot water radiators. The landlord passed away last year and the "Estate" is managed by a local law firm. Since I am unemployed, it took a few months to save for a minimum delivery of 150 gallons of heating oil. Before firing up the furnace for the first time this season, I requested that the furnace be serviced, especially since I saw a wet area around the furnace. I was given a number of a service tech, however he never returned my calls. Almost a week later, I was told to pick someone out of the phonebook. Five days later, a technician inspected the furnace and said the boiler needed to be replaced. The law firm sent someone else (of their choosing) the next day for a second opinion. He also said the furnace had to be replaced, but suggested that the replacement be made with a natural gas furnace. We're told the work "may" start in another five days, or four days before Christmas. We've also been told that the 150 gallons of oil is our loss since we shouldn't have ordered the fuel with the furnace being inspected, but the company doing the work would be willing take it off our hands for $ .25/gallon. No relief has been offered for attempting to heat two bedrooms with electric heaters. One can see their breath in the rest of the house, and I'm assuming it's somewhere in the 40's F.
    Does anyone know how long we legally can go without heat? It's been over two weeks, and will likely be one more before the new furnace goes online.
    No one told you to order the fuel...so the oil is your loss. What relief are you seeking? You are using electric heaters for heat. So you are not without heat. This is not letting the LL off easy..he is in the process of getting it fixed. The LL cannot force them to work any faster than they want to or can.
  6. #6
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank_US View Post
    Warren County, New Jersey

    Call the housing inspector or the board of health.

    From [url=http://www.lsnjlaw.org/english/placeilive/irentmyhome/tenantsrights/chaptersix/index.cfm#6heat]LSNJLAW - G: Chapter 6: Your Right to Safe and Decent Housing[/url]


    The housing inspector or board of health in your town enforces the heat requirements in the state and local codes. Larger cities have special no-heat hotlines that are set up especially to handle complaints. The inspector can file a complaint in court on your behalf, or you can file your own complaint. The landlord must then appear in court and explain why he or she is not providing heat. The court can impose stiff penalties, including fines or jail sentences.
  7. #7
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by searchertwin View Post
    No one told you to order the fuel...so the oil is your loss. What relief are you seeking? You are using electric heaters for heat. So you are not without heat. This is not letting the LL off easy..he is in the process of getting it fixed. The LL cannot force them to work any faster than they want to or can.

    No relief has been offered for attempting to heat two bedrooms with electric heaters
    When pray tell us are you going to read ,so as to reply correctly ?

    Poster:

    CALL this Law firm and Demand some type of reasonable HEAT - in the interim .

    Call your City enforcement persons .

    Call a 311 number ( none 911 emergency ).
    Last edited by BL; 12-18-2009 at 06:48 PM.
  8. #8
    Hank_US is offline Junior Member
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    No one told you to order the fuel...so the oil is your loss.
    So, I'm suppose to wait until I'm told to purchase oil to heat my home?
    And when you take your car to be worked on, do you leave the car with a fuel tank empty?

    You are using electric heaters for heat. So you are not without heat.
    Six people in two small bedrooms. Evening temperatures have been in the teens, and the inside temperature barely gets above 60 with the heaters cranking constantly. It is right now 38 in the living room, kitchen, bathroom.

    This is not letting the LL off easy..he is in the process of getting it fixed. The LL cannot force them to work any faster than they want to or can.
    It's been over two weeks. I just lost over $330 in fuel/heat and my electric bill will probably triple. This is not what I pay rent for. And the acting landlord is a real estate attorney and is well aware of NJ and and local laws.

    Who are you, a disgruntled landlord? Save your "advice."
  9. #9
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by searchertwin View Post
    No one told you to order the fuel...so the oil is your loss. What relief are you seeking? You are using electric heaters for heat. So you are not without heat. This is not letting the LL off easy..he is in the process of getting it fixed. The LL cannot force them to work any faster than they want to or can.

    I just want to say, that absolutely they can be forced to work faster then they want to.

    Its how fast can they get it done. and if the company that makes the changes cant get gas lines in for 3 or four weeks, that is unacceptable, and I suggest you bring it up in court if you cant get any help from the LL.

    If the electric heaters up your electric, make sure you are writing about how they intend on remedying the situation.

    Do you have a lease sir? ...
  10. #10
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank_US View Post
    So, I'm suppose to wait until I'm told to purchase oil to heat my home?
    And when you take your car to be worked on, do you leave the car with a fuel tank empty?



    Six people in two small bedrooms. Evening temperatures have been in the teens, and the inside temperature barely gets above 60 with the heaters cranking constantly. It is right now 38 in the living room, kitchen, bathroom.



    It's been over two weeks. I just lost over $330 in fuel/heat and my electric bill will probably triple. This is not what I pay rent for. And the acting landlord is a real estate attorney and is well aware of NJ and and local laws.

    Who are you, a disgruntled landlord? Save your "advice."
    Call the Board of Health. And I would also contact an attorney to see what type of financial recompense you can reasonably expect to get for your intolerable living conditions.

    Do you have friends or family you can stay with until this is resolved? Remember there is a blizzard that's hitting the east coast.
  11. #11
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank_US View Post
    So, I'm suppose to wait until I'm told to purchase oil to heat my home?
    You should have called and said you were getting ready to do so, and they should send someone out to make sure it is working properly.

    Why didn't you have the delivery guy look at the furnace before putting in the gas?

    And when you take your car to be worked on, do you leave the car with a fuel tank empty?
    I absolutely would. If not I would add just a little, enough for it to run long enough for a diagnosis.


    Six people in two small bedrooms.
    That is a lot of people, and I hope 4 are children. All you can do for RIGHT NOW is get more electric, and keep good receipts of the purchases, and the electricity it took to heat bedrooms and bathroom.


    temperatures have been in the teens, and the inside temperature barely gets above 60 with the heaters cranking constantly. It is right now 38 in the living room, kitchen, bathroom.
    See above, and I'd like to mention, that you can get another one for the bathroom and when in the livingroom, you can bring a heater with you... or blankets. The LL is only required to be getting new heating.. not the exact one YOU want.



    It's been over two weeks. I just lost over $330 in fuel/heat and my electric bill will probably triple.
    then you should add that to the suit you will bring against your landlord, if he doesn't hurry up and get your family heat.


    And the acting landlord is a real estate attorney and is well aware of NJ and and local laws.
    I guess thats why he knows that as long as hes working on it, you cant break your lease. and you cant just leave... I mean if you cant afford oil, then you cant move. Plus maybe hes hoping you wont think to sue them for the additional 'damages' due to their improvement to the heating system... in the middle of winter.

    You would have to sue for costs incurred AFTER you found out the heat was broken, until the day it was fixed. Send letters, lots of them. I know thats innoying, but thats what you have to do.


    You should ABSOLUTELY start calling officials about the no heat.
    Last edited by Banned_Princess; 12-18-2009 at 07:08 PM.
  12. #12
    Hank_US is offline Junior Member
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    You should have called and said you were getting ready to do so, and they should send someone out to make sure it is working properly.

    Why didn't you have the delivery guy look at the furnace before putting in the gas?
    That is what we did, but the oil tank was dry. The furnace worked fine up to the last day it was used last spring.
    And the oil delivery person doesn't service furnaces, nor was I about to pay for something that is the landlord's responsibility.

    I absolutely would. If not I would add just a little, enough for it to run long enough for a diagnosis.
    Minimum delivery amount is 150 gallons.

    I'm not looking to sue, and I couldn't afford a lawyer even if I wanted to.
    I just want what I'm entitled to as a renter.
  13. #13
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank_US View Post
    That is what we did, but the oil tank was dry. The furnace worked fine up to the last day it was used last spring.
    And the oil delivery person doesn't service furnaces, nor was I about to pay for something that is the landlord's responsibility.



    Minimum delivery amount is 150 gallons.

    I'm not looking to sue, and I couldn't afford a lawyer even if I wanted to.
    I just want what I'm entitled to as a renter.
    You have a right to heat, and a right to sue if you dont get it.

    Dont worry, if you withold from your rent, it wont cost you anything to bring this all up in court.
  14. #14
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Have you even called the non emergency number in your area ?

    Have you contacted red cross ?

    You're a family of six .

    You all need temporary accommodation until the heat is on ,especially if there are children ,and if you can't afford it or the LL won't put you up in the meantime ,SEEK some assistances .
  15. #15
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Before holding one dime back of rent Call inspections out, for the heat to be not working this long is (less than polite word) and your LL knows it, its all about money , Many cities will write a 24 hour repair notice , giving the LL 24 hours to get it working or they condemn . NOT pretty for LLs to have property condemned because then many places force them to meet new code compliance before it can be lived in again. Keep copy of any reports inspections makes or make it easy for the inspector and hand her/him a SASE so all they have to do is copy the report and mail it to you for your records. rental or homeowner no matter if one is willing to pay enough they can get 24 to 48 hour replacement systems installed, Its not like they gotta install one from scratch. Its a SWAP and if the work is done by lic contractor even if permit is pulled after the fact it still can be done faster than what the LL is doing it now.

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