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Old 11-14-2010, 04:01 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,385 posts, read 28,352,549 times
Reputation: 5877

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Just wondering if there is anything to be done about an apartment that is too cold? I would rather not get in any dispute with landlord and keep current place but, it is lets say, a little bit chilly. If I have to I will break lease and get a new place but do not want to if I don't have to.
The building is supposed to provide heat but is running it extremely intermittently. I have talked to some of the neighbors and they said they have had issues past winters. Is this something that is problematic? Sorry but I don't want to sit around in a jacket and mittens inside and would rather deal with it now than suffer through it for 4 months. It is 4pm and currently 59 degrees inside the apartment and not even "cold outside" yet. I haven't been in a place before that had the radiators and/or no ability to control the heat, so not sure how this works...

Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:14 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,887 posts, read 22,407,149 times
Reputation: 4544
The city has rules about heat being adequate to stay warm. You might want to consider calling them to complain.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
16,769 posts, read 14,166,016 times
Reputation: 11191
Quote:
Originally Posted by grapico View Post
Just wondering if there is anything to be done about an apartment that is too cold? I would rather not get in any dispute with landlord and keep current place but, it is lets say, a little bit chilly. If I have to I will break lease and get a new place but do not want to if I don't have to.
The building is supposed to provide heat but is running it extremely intermittently. I have talked to some of the neighbors and they said they have had issues past winters. Is this something that is problematic? Sorry but I don't want to sit around in a jacket and mittens inside and would rather deal with it now than suffer through it for 4 months. It is 4pm and currently 59 degrees inside the apartment and not even "cold outside" yet. I haven't been in a place before that had the radiators and/or no ability to control the heat, so not sure how this works...

Thanks.
I know this may seem like a radical idea ... but why don't you try talking to your landlord?
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 102,625,168 times
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How big is your building? It seems the more units there are in a building with a central (usually hot-water radiator) heating system, the harder it is to regulate the temperature consistently. Some units will be warm while others are cold at the same time. Having heat in the mid-60s in winter was probably considered quite adequate back in the 1920s or thereabouts when many of these buildings were built, and it's just an unfortunate fact of life of living in buildings like that. It's the biggest reason why I will never live in a "heat included" unit anymore. If the unit doesn't have its own thermostat, I won't live there. But when I had the problem you had, one thing I did was just run hot water in the shower to steam up the apartment. Obviously it works better with very small units.

From a legal standpoint, your unit is required to be at least 68 degrees during waking hours and 63 degrees during sleeping hours. Be sure to document any instances where these minimums are not met along with any correspondence (highly recommend written correspondence) with your landlord about the issue if you're thinking you might need to break the lease down the line.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:08 PM
 
829 posts, read 2,075,290 times
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Buy a couple of space heaters. That is what your landlord is expecting you to do. It's really the only solution besides moving out. Landlords don't care.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 15,278,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allen2323 View Post
Buy a couple of space heaters. That is what your landlord is expecting you to do. It's really the only solution besides moving out. Landlords don't care.
I've had landlords expressly forbid space heaters in the lease, due to the fire risk they pose. I personally would never use one (though I've heard heaters that use oil instead of the ones that use electricity are safer)
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
439 posts, read 948,093 times
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My radiators have a knob on the bottom that controls the heat to a certain extent. Last fall it was a bit chilly inside so the maintenance man came over and turned a knob. Not sure if yours are set up like that though.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,385 posts, read 28,352,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsk1983 View Post
My radiators have a knob on the bottom that controls the heat to a certain extent. Last fall it was a bit chilly inside so the maintenance man came over and turned a knob. Not sure if yours are set up like that though.
Mine has knobs too, the problem is, the heat is completely off and only extremely intermittently on. I am almost positive they are trying to save money this way.

It is a nice old building, renovated inside. 3 story courtyard building, it was built in 1931. There are 40-50 units in the building. But the radiators are definitely old as well as the old windows which I suspect is not insulated well. I am on the top floor at the end, so you think heat would rise more, but maybe the heat coming from the radiator isn't as hot as the other units when it travels up the pipes and exposed to more wind cooling it down being on the outside facing street and on top floor.

I will contact them tomorrow and see whats up. But I am just anticipating them possibly not doing anything b/c the whole building is on same control, not unit by unit.

I think I remember couldn't use space heaters also for same reason and other applicance installations such as max BTU on A/C's, I definitely knew there was a don't grill on the balcony thing. Will check soon.

The thing with getting space heaters are, yeah okay they will work, have to go purchase them, going to be higher elec bell, etc. but, it is contract on the lease they are supposed to provide heat, end of story.

Down to 57 now.

Chuckity, don't really like confrontation, and suspecting they won't do anything. I had to move out of a place before once around 5 years ago b/c it had mold growing on the base boards and walls, wasn't the best experience. I realize I need to call them, but more anticipating the what to do if they do not appease the situation, or maybe the particular unit I am in, they are out of control of it since it is so old.

Last edited by grapico; 11-14-2010 at 07:12 PM..
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:23 PM
 
Location: West Loop
269 posts, read 713,683 times
Reputation: 127
Call the land lord... if they don't turn the heat on, call 311 and figure out who deals with this kind of stuff.

Or, be passive and be cold.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 102,625,168 times
Reputation: 29961
Well if you're on the top floor at the end, that means you have about as much exterior surfaces (walls and roof) as you can possibly get. That probably doesn't help the situation any. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the interior units were nice and cozy while you freeze your ass off.

I'm sure the old windows aren't helping either. I had the good fortune of having a lead problem recently in my building. The city told my landlord to either remediate or have the building declared uninhabitable. They just finished up with the remediation, which included new windows. It's already making a huge difference. In previous winters we put that cheesy plastic sheeting up to block out the drafts and we still had heating bills approaching $300. This year we won't have to put that plastic crap up. In fact we don't even have storm windows anymore, that's how good the new windows are.
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