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Old 12-14-2010, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Maine
2,192 posts, read 3,406,170 times
Reputation: 2292

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This older house we just rented has a combo of heat sources. There is oil forced hot-air in the downstairs, the master bedroom and bath and the other upstairs bath. There is a gas stove in the family rooms downstairs, and the two kids' bedrooms have electric heat.

Since the windows are old and lots of cold air blows in (we did put up plastic which helps), the kids' rooms get pretty darned cold (there are no vents in the landing upstairs to help heat their rooms), so the other night I turned on the electric baseboards. Nothing -- they did not work. This morning we asked LL about it and he said he'd never used them because it was too expensive and he had no idea about how to make them work.

It's our decision whether we want to pay for electric heat sometimes -- we live in Maine and it gets cold, so some nights we would want to. We could go buy space heaters but those can be dangerous to leave on all night, plus we were told those rooms had electric heat, so why should we have to incur any expense?

Since he told us there is electric heat in those rooms, isn't he responsible for them working? He is wicked cheap and won't want to get them fixed, I guarantee.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Illinois
8,524 posts, read 3,893,319 times
Reputation: 14761
IMHO ~~ Yes, he should get them to work.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Some Beach... Somewhere...
3,108 posts, read 1,876,386 times
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When I read the title of this thread, I thought it was about my ex-wife.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Providence, RI
4,004 posts, read 5,330,407 times
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Look up the landlord tenant handbook for Maine online. There should be a line in there about required temperature for rentals in winter. (In RI it is 68 deg)

Put a thermometer in the rooms to determine what the temperature is and then write the landlord a letter citing the statute and the temp.

He will have a certain length of time by law both to answer and to repair- that will also be in the Me tenant handbook.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:24 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,138 posts, read 26,279,267 times
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How Much Heat and Other Basic Utilities Does My Landlord Have to Provide?

Here's a simple link which will help. And in Maine the law is as Hollytree notes for RI - 68 degrees. Under Maine law you are also entitled to self-help if the LL fails to make good in a timely manner. But read through the link which is one of many but is easily readable. Good luck
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Thanks -- I forgot that Pinetree Legal has an awesome guide for landlords and tenants.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:50 PM
 
14,029 posts, read 25,855,451 times
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Not your problem... if you rented with electric heat then it is the Landlord's problem to effect a solution.

Electric Baseboard Heat is cheap to install and more costly to operate... it maybe more economical to just replace than repair... someone should check the obvious such as it there power to control, is the circuit breaker on and is the unit switched on.

I have one home where I installed baseboard heating in the living room at the tenants request after they had a baby... they were from the east and grew up with them... it was only a couple of hundred dollars because the meter box was just on the other side of the wall

They didn't want to use the gas furnace because it heated the entire home...

After the first electric bill arrived... they seldom used the electric baseboard heater... just cost too much... $3 a day per heater was typical... or $90 per month.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,192 posts, read 3,406,170 times
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I know they are expensive, but if it's the only heat source in those rooms, we might suck it up on the coldest nights. Or they'll be camping out with us in our room, lol. Once we get up the plastic in all windows and the thermal-lined curtains we just bought (not real cheap at $45 a window for 11 windows), at least the breeze should stay out of our rooms.

Interesting: here is the city ordinance:

Heating facilities required. Every habitable room, excepting rooms used primarily for sleeping purposes, shall be served by heating facilities which provide a minimum temperature of at least sixty-eight (68) degrees Fahrenheit, at a distance of three (3) feet above floor level, as required by prevailing weather conditions from September fifteenth through May fifteenth of each year.

So I guess it's ok for bedrooms to not be heated. Time to buy some electric blankets.

Last edited by lawmom; 12-14-2010 at 03:59 PM.. Reason: added stuff
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:06 PM
 
3,777 posts, read 4,584,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawmom View Post
I know they are expensive, but if it's the only heat source in those rooms, we might suck it up on the coldest nights. Or they'll be camping out with us in our room, lol. Once we get up the plastic in all windows and the thermal-lined curtains we just bought (not real cheap at $45 a window for 11 windows), at least the breeze should stay out of our rooms.

Interesting: here is the city ordinance:

Heating facilities required. Every habitable room, excepting rooms used primarily for sleeping purposes, shall be served by heating facilities which provide a minimum temperature of at least sixty-eight (68) degrees Fahrenheit, at a distance of three (3) feet above floor level, as required by prevailing weather conditions from September fifteenth through May fifteenth of each year.

So I guess it's ok for bedrooms to not be heated. Time to buy some electric blankets.
Thats not how I read it since the bedroom is a habitable room...
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,192 posts, read 3,406,170 times
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Every habitable room, excepting rooms used primarily for sleeping purposes,
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