I have been living in my apartment building for almost a year now. I moved in last March, so I only experienced the tail end of winter. My apartment building consists of 5 units in an old general store building in PA. It has central heating and no A/C. There is only one thermostat in the whole building and the person that controls it, is never home. Now in the fall months the heat was on so high that I was forced to open all the windows and turn on 3 fans in my apartment. But now that the temperature is getting into the 20's and sometimes single digits, the heat is not on during the day and not very warm at night. My question is, is there a law in PA that states a min/max temperature that central heating should be set at during certain months or at certain outside temperatures?
You'll want to check your lease and then the municipality or county in which you live for specifics.
In many mid atlantic states (and much of PA I've been told) LL must provide heat between October 1st and May 15th at a minimum of 65° between 6:30 AM and 10:30 PM; 60° during the night and when the temperature is below 0° unless otherwise provided by lease.
Call your county housing code enforcement office and see if their approach differs from the 'standard' one above.
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Real Estate Attorney
I concur with my colleague above. It is generally up to individual municipalities to set standards for heating. Just curious, do you pay separately for heat or is it included in your monthly rent? This may have some impact on your case.
Either way if it is becoming unbearably cold you MAY be able to withhold rent for the Landlord's failure to keep the premises habitable which is implied in every lease. Before you take any action on these issues you should seek the guidance of a local attorney that practices landlord/tenant disputes.
Best of Luck!
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