What to do if my landlord has consistently harassed my partner and I for the last 2 winter months about our heating bill?

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What to do if my landlord has consistently harassed my partner and I for the last 2 winter months about our heating bill?

Heat is included in our lease and I’ve read and reread over the lease making sure that I am correct in saying it does not state anywhere that our heat has to be below a certain temperature. She complains that our heat is “the highest in the building” and other such crude implications. Our windows are not weather proofed (no storm windows) and the windows themselves barely fit in the frame so that a constant breeze is flowing through the apartment. Even though my partner and I do our best to keep the heat at a reasonable temperature (74 at max) the actual temperature in the apartment is never above 68 due to the draft.

Asked on January 1, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If all the landlord is doing is criticizing you and your partner about the heat, there is nothing to do: the law does not prevent someone, including a landlord, from saying annoying or unfair things--even if they do it frequently. If the landlord does anything concrete to impair your use of the rental unit--such as finding some way to turn down your heat, so that it is no below reasonable room temperature--that is a different story; in that case, you likely would be entitled to take legal action to enforce your rights.


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