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  1. #1
    lrd102 is offline Junior Member
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    Lowest Legal Thermostat Setting for Tenants Heat

    I am a landlord in NJ. I own a 2 family house with tenants on the 2nd floor. I provide heat and hot water to them. With the price of fuel oil going through the roof, I am looking to cut back on their heat but without breaking the law. Therefore, what is the lowest temperature I'm allowed, by law, to set my thermostat at for my tenants heat during the winter months? I believe there are two different settings required by law; one for at night and one for day. Thank you.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    CA LL is offline Senior Member
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    DISCLAIMER..this may have been changed since it was published in NY Times

    NEW JERSEY

    Between Oct. 1 and May 1, buildings must be heated to a minimum of 68 degrees from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M., and to 55 degrees during the remaining hours.

    That said..you also need to make sure you are competitive and LOCAL cities may have further restrictions.
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    55? That's pretty cold. Looks like a typo too, site I found said 65 at night.

    Best way to save on heating costs WITHOUT making your tenants miserable is to improve the insulation in your units, seal up or replace drafty windows especially. 68 feels a lot warmer when there's no cold breeze coming in!
  4. #4
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Call your local Code enforcement Office to find out .

    Are they lease term tenants or month to month ?

    Depending , you might want to send them an increase in rent notice .

    I realize the utility prices are rising , but really keeping the temp at a reasonable temp . would put less demand on the heating unit .

    As was suggested . make sure the house is weatherproofed .
  5. #5
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Just to clarify - the minimum temperature is as measured in the tenant's unit, not what you set it to on your thermostat!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  6. #6
    BL
    BL is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty View Post
    Just to clarify - the minimum temperature is as measured in the tenant's unit, not what you set it to on your thermostat!
    Plus , depending on the codes , each room must meet the minimum .

    In other words , if you haven't proper weather proofing , some rooms may not meet the minimum .

    Say your thermostat is in your unit , you are using your oven or stove , and the thermostat doesn't kick in , the above unit may be colder that yours .
    Last edited by BL; 09-18-2008 at 02:52 PM.
  7. #7
    lrd102 is offline Junior Member
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    Town Ordnance Regarding Temperature For Tenant's Unit

    I called City Hall in my town and spoke to someone in the Health Department. She told me what THEIR ordnance states:

    The apartment must be 70 degrees from 6am to 11pm. And from 11pm to 6am, it must be 66.

    My (month to month) tenants have been there since Feb 05. They were the perfect tenants up until about 4 months ago. I even reduced their rent from $1150 per month to $900 per month because they are having financial difficulties since the wife lost her job. When have you ever heard of a landlord REDUCING their tenants rent? I am a very nice landlord. Maybe too nice and I feel they may be taking advantage of my kind and compassionate nature. Even though they are paying $250 LESS, I still let them keep their parking space and still allow them to wash clothes (I supply the hot water). Also, when they first came to see the rooms, I told them upfront, NO PETS. Recently, they told me their daughter wanted a puppy. I gave in and let them have a dog. As I said, they have changed DRASTICALLY. I have been told by some real estate offices that there are not many tenants out there so that's why I'm putting up with them. I have a very high mortgage to pay and I guess $900 is better than $0. If I could get away with it, I'd give them 65 during the day and 55 at night!

    I appreciate everyone's responses.

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