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  1. #1
    bats is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Landlord wants the heat set to 60 degrees in winter - is that allowed??

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New Hampshire

    My landlord is paying for the heat in our apartment and in our lease he wrote that we are not allowed to have the heat past 70 degrees. Whatever, that is fine with me.

    HOWEVER he just called me today and said that he wants us to set the heat to 60 degrees when we aren't home (so during the day) and if we are gone for longer than 2 hours, he wants it set to 62 degrees. He can't do this right?

    Is this even legal if it HAD been in the lease??

    I have cats that I would prefer not to have really cold all day and I don't think I should have to deal with bumping the heat down that far when I leave! Landlord lives below us so he is around frequently, although I know he can't just come in and check to see what heat we are at whenever he wants.

    I can't find the laws on this for NH, can anyone help?
  2. #2
    HuAi is offline Member
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    NH law stipulates that habitable housing constitutes the following ([url=http://www.nh.gov/csw/resources/legal_handbook_housing.html]Publications (CSW)[/url])


    Heating facilities are not properly installed, safely maintained, and in good working condition, or cannot safely and adequately heat all livable rooms and bathrooms to average temperature of at least sixty-five (65) degrees; or

    The premises are not kept at a minimum average temperature of sixty-five (65) degrees in all livable rooms when heat is included in the rent.
    MAKING A COMPLAINT ABOUT THE LACK OF SAFE AND SANITARY HOUSING


    On the other hand, if my landlord told me how to run my life, i'd tell him to bite rocks unless i'm breaking a lease provision (which you are not)
  3. #3
    bats is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you!!

    Thank you for the help!!

    I also heard from someone at the local university that if the landlord said in our lease that we couldn't have the heat higher than 60 degrees when we are gone and we had signed it, that would be legally binding (or at least very hard to fight). Thank the lord he hadn't put that in the lease!!

    I guess next year he is either going to charge us for heat or raise the rent...not looking forward to that....
  4. #4
    MIRAKALES is offline Senior Member
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    The LL has requested tenant to conserve energy and be conscious of the cost of fuel. It is not meant to be an inconvenience to tenant’s lifestyle. The heating costs are built into the rent… if tenant has a month-to-month lease LL can raise the rent to compensate for added heat expenses. It seems to be a reasonable request to manage the functional use of heat.
    Lastly, animals do not require the same temperatures as humans. Most animals can live at 40-50 degrees temperature and remain comfortable.
  5. #5
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Look I'm all in favor of tenants rights and making sure that landlords follow the law. Heck, I am a tenant! But your landlord, who is paying for your heat, is basically asking you to do him a favor and turn the heat down when you are not there. He's PROBABLY trying to avoid having to raise your rent too much at your next renewal. Energy is expensive these days, everyone knows that. He's not asking you or forcing you to keep it at 60 when you're home (that would be illegal), he just doesn't want to have to pay to heat an empty house. My mom used to yell at me for the same thing, if I forgot to turn the heat down when I left for school. I don't think your LL is being unreasonable at all. Tell him you will do your best to remember and leave it at that. If you insist on running up higher-then-necessary heating bills, your rent WILL be raised at the next opportunity to make up for it, so you'll only be screwing yourself in the long run.
  6. #6
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    P.S. Your cats have fur and 60 is not cold for them.
  7. #7
    bats is offline Junior Member
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    Actually I have hair-less cats, so they do get cold.

    And yes, I do agree that lowering the heat is easy to do and I already did that, except I set it at 64 when I was out during the day.

    He raised the rent from 850 to 1175 per month to COVER for heat.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk and I am all about saving, but I didn't think he could make it a requirement to set it at 60 degrees when I am not at home. I just wanted to know the laws regarding that.

    I love it when this place gets sassy.
  8. #8
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Bats: suggestion : Here at home I no longer heat the upstairs of my home, I cannot afford it , my 2 cats and 2 dogs when upstairs have no problem climbing under & nesting into the bed covers ( sleeping bags) they even do this during the daytime downstairs. Your pets are going to be fine with lower temps. A easy solution for tenants is if they have a H round style thermostat there is a programable Tstat unit that fits right on over the round ones, If is easily removable so it creates no damage, it clamps onto the dial and moves it acording to the settings. When I worked overnight shifts ( 10 hour + 2.5 to 4 hours drive per day when roads were bad) I used one of those and it helped reduce propane use considerably.
  9. #9
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    I was going to suggest exactly what FarmerJ said. He beat me to it so I'll just cosign.

    A programmable thermostat is a good compromise. It will save on heating costs and enable you to come home to a comfortable environment, and it's environmentally responsible. Leave a fluffed up blanket at your cats' favorite sleeping spot for them to snuggle into. They'll be fine.
  10. #10
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Talk to your LL too , your LL might be very willing to install a programable one, the nicest ones have multiple set back times and days so that way if your schedule was pretty well set the heat settings can drop automatically, example If your schedule was a mon- fri leaving the house at 6am to arrive at work by 7a, you could have the tstat programed to go from say 64 to 60 at 5am , (it will take some time for house to cool down) then 30 to 45 minutes before you arrive back at home, the Tstat is set to bring temp back up to say 68, then normally you go to bed around 930 pm so you could set it to begin to drop the temp to 64 at 9pm then on weekends you can just do the overnight setting unless your going to be gone most of the day anyway. This would maximize your fuel savings and if your willing to do multiple settings like coolest setting while at work, cooler during sleeping hours and warmer when awake at home , you should be able to create a considerable saving for your LL wich can result in lower rent increases. IF home heating cost this winter gets to be like last years was ,you can expect rents to either go up , or for your LL to spend the money to submeter heating and possibly other utils that are inc, or use a state approved apportioning formula and make tenants pay it by preparing new leases for next renewal and changing the terms of the lease to allow /require tenants to pay utility charges.
    Last edited by FarmerJ; 10-21-2008 at 06:08 PM.
  11. #11
    Mrs. D is offline Member
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    If your LL won't install a programmable thermostat, ask him if he'll buy it (he can likely be reimbursed for it either from the local utility or as a deduction on his taxes), and install it yourself! They take about 20 minutes to install, and a trained chimp could literally do it. 64 is pretty reasonable, and if you had the programmable thermostat so you never forgot, he would see his heating bill go WAY down. Tell your LL that turning down the heat only saves energy if it's done for a period of about 8 hours or longer. Otherwise, it takes more energy to re-heat the space than was saved in the time the heat was turned down. Also, with the price of heating fuels going down over recent months, he's likely to see a reduction in his heating bills anyway*, so if he argues with you about a rent increase to cover "high heating bills," I would argue back after this winter.

    *Source: According to my heating oil company, if I wait until Dec., my bill will likely be lower than last winter (the spot price is already close to what I paid last winter, though the tax went up, which is why I have to wait), and 30- and 60-day futures for both heating oil and natural gas are lower now than they were last year at this time. I qualify this statement with "we'll have to see what OPEC does tomorrow."

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