What to do if we have been without a heater for 5 months?

Now frost advisories are out and we still have no heat. Is there a certain time or month in which there must be a working source of heat or the house is deemed unlivable? Can our landlord provide us with just a single (1) space heater for a 2 story, 3 bedroom house? Does this qualify us to terminate our lease?

Asked on September 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since your rental has not had a heater for five (5) months, I would write your landlord demanding that the situation be resolved by a certain date. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and need. If the due date comes and goes without the situation being remedied, you contact your local health department and building/permit department seeking an inspection of the unit. If cited, the landlord will be forced to remedy the situation immediately.

You might also wish to consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your matter.

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