Hello, we currently rent. Last winter we could not heat our home above 65 degrees. They did a few things to try to improve the temp. But then they gave up. We heat with oil downstairs and electric upstairs -_-..... again winter time and we are in constant battle with getting the home to heat over 64!!! This morning our down stairs is 56 degrees. I complained to them yesterday...... With no response. Today I complained again with no response so far. Can we break our lease due to being freezing and not having proper heat. Yes we even have space heaters running cautiously. and still no luck. We have three children. Two of which are babies.
How awful. Your landlord does have the obligation to furnish heat, but you'll have to ask your borough or township what the minimum temperature must be. For example NYC mandates 68 degrees, other places say between 60 and 65 depending whether it's day or night. (I am miserable under 68 or 70 degrees. 56 must be torture.)
If you don't get help or a good answer from the borough or township office, call the county health department to ask if they have regulations about how much heat must be available to you. Tell them the house isn't heating enough. Also ask either office whether they would come out and certify that there isn't enough heat. Under some circumstances you can withhold all or part of your rent until the heating is fixed if you get verification from the health department ... but I don't want to advise you here because I'm not your attorney and I don't know enough about your circumstances. Just don't do it without consulting your own attorney because you don't want to get in trouble. If you don't have money for an attorney, Central PA Legal Services or the county bar association can help connect you with an attorney. (Also, because Carlisle is a college town with probably a lot of student renters, there might be free or low-cost tenant advising available to you. )
If there is a code violation, the local/county govt could also contact the landlord and tell them they're in violation, and that they have to fix it or they can't rent to you anymore. I hope you can resolve this quickly. Good luck!
I have a private practice in Malvern, PA, and I welcome new clients. Contact me privately for further information through my website, www.RabinLawOffices.com or by telephone at 484-875-3023. My answer to your question is not to be considered legal advice, just general information based on my knowledge and experience, and the fact that I answered your question does not create a lawyer-client relationship between us. That would have to commence more formally.
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