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Tenant said she will stay at daughter's house until heating problem is fixed & wants us to reimburse her. What is most fair?

Jersey City, NJ |

The heating is not working properly in our house. The 2nd floor is getting heat (gravity system), but the first floor where the Tenant lives, has intermittent heat only. She told us the problem yesterday evening, but I didn't get home from work until 1:30am. We called plumbers today. They won't be able to fix the problem until Saturday (2 nights, little heat). She is upset and I am sure frustrated (I completely understand). We offered to lend her our space heater and pay the difference in her electricity bill, but she refused. Last Friday, there was a similar problem, but it was fixed after bleeding all the heaters in the building (on the advice of two plumbers). I want to do what is most appropriate and fair for both parties. Please advise. Heat is included with rent.

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Attorney answers 1


As a landlord, you have an obligation to provide a habitable apartment, and should take the necessary measures to promptly fix the heating. It is equitable and fair that she be "compensated" for her temporary displacement. You should offer her an offset/credit against her rent.

(Not to be construed as legal advice and you should seek competent legal representation.)