Legal Temperature in a Rented House
There is no law in the state of Minnesota that requires a landlord to maintain a minimum temperature for their tenants. Minnesota law requires landlords to “keep the premises and all common elements fit for the parties` intended use,” meaning the rental unit must remain “habitable.” This can be interpreted in different ways at the end, as it does not indicate a specific temperature level. An implied warranty of habitability has a specific meaning when it comes to thermostats. This means that homeowners must provide a reasonable amount of heat during the colder months. In some places, homeowners are required to provide air conditioning during the summer months. A common minimum temperature for the heating system is 68 degrees, but this can vary from place to place. However, an implied warranty of habitability rarely guarantees access to the thermostat. In most states, as long as a homeowner provides heat, they can control the thermostat. Due to an implied warranty of habitability, landlords usually have to make every effort to adjust the temperature if a tenant wishes. In general, the lease prescribes how to make and resolve temperature adjustment requests. The instructions in the lease help eliminate misunderstandings and frustrations between the tenant and landlord.
Temperature adjustments can contribute to energy efficiency and reduce costs. Tenants who are too hot may simply open the windows in winter or resort to less efficient heating and cooling equipment. “It is said that the temperature should be at least 70 degrees, even if the temperatures are minus 5 degrees,” DDPHE spokeswoman Tammy Vigil said. “So the owner has to maintain that temperature when it`s cold.” For tenants, the first step is to inform their landlord of the problem. If the landlord doesn`t fix the problem within a reasonable time, tenants can take legal action. Tenants can take legal action through a local government agency or in court. A landlord may be fined if they do not act immediately to repair the HVAC system in the event of extreme heat or cold. They may also have to pay for tenant relocation and housing costs until the issue is resolved. Now that winter is in full swing, homeowners should be aware that many cities regulate heating in rental properties. It is the landlord`s responsibility to ensure that the heating system meets standards and keeps the rental unit at the required temperature – usually around 68 degrees during the day.
Simply put, tenants are entitled to central heating or other heating facilities (radiators, etc.) in every occupied space of a property, and landlords are required to provide this. It should be noted that there are also legally prescribed temperatures associated with this. If the temperature drops below minus 1°C, all rooms designated as bedrooms should be able to be heated to at least 18°C, while all living rooms can be heated to at least 21°C. Yes, landlords can control the thermostat of their rental properties in most states. While they need to provide enough heat, they don`t have to give the tenant control of the thermostat. That is, it is a rule from one state to another. Some states, such as Arizona, that experience extreme temperatures, may require landlords to provide thermostat control to tenants during the very hot or cold months. Always check your local regulations before taking control of the thermostat. This wide range of local heating requirements, coupled with ambiguous state laws, demonstrates the complex mix of rules and regulations that many renter households must navigate to ensure basic safety and well-being in their rental units. HOME Line continues to advocate for additional protection for tenants in terms of minimum temperatures and heat shortages, including a national minimum heating standard that would make these rules simpler and easier to enforce.
Since the landlord is required to reliably supply all of his rental properties with heat, it follows that repairs or replacement of domestic heaters are also his responsibility. However, it is important to remember the manufacturer`s responsibility for maintaining warranties, so if a defect is found during the warranty period, contacting the equipment manufacturer is considered a good first step. The Heating Ordinance also stipulates that building owners provide heat for indoor workplaces during the designated cold months. There are exceptions for work areas where cold temperatures are required for the type of work being performed, such as a cold store. However, there is sometimes confusion when it comes to understanding liability when a fault is found. Here is an overview of the legal requirements for gas and heating in rental properties to help landlords and tenants better understand their respective rights and obligations. For residential buildings with central heating (shared) and without central air conditioning, the indoor temperature must be at least 68°F from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and at least 66°F from 10:30 p.m.
to 8:30 a.m. throughout the heating season. If you have legal questions about heating or cooling your rental, contact a® Rocket Lawyer On Call. However, if it is determined that damage was caused by abuse by the tenant, landlords may choose to pay for it themselves and, if not, the landlord has the right to deduct repair costs from the security deposit paid at the beginning of the lease.