Can my landlord charge me for “abusing” the heat in my apartment?

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2012

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Can my landlord charge me for “abusing” the heat in my apartment?

My roommate and I keep the heat around 75. The landlord sent a message saying that the heat can’t be set above 70 or we would be billed for “abuse”. Reading the copy of the lease agreement it states the landlord pays the heating bill and does not mention anywhere the heat has to be set at a certain temperature.

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. The written lease between you and the landlord sets forth the obligations owed to you by the landlord and the landlord to you in the absence of conflicting state law. If the written lease states that the landlord pays the heating bill for the unit, he pays for the bill monthly regardless of how high you set it.

He or she can charge you for the "abuse" of the heat but you have no contractual obligation to pay the fee.

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