Ask a Landlord-Tenant Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
There are some cities or counties within PA that have their own housing codes, and many of these do address heat. Where in PA is the property located? Does the landlord control the heat settings, or is he saying that something is wrong with the heating unit?
If the code says that the property must be capable of being heated to 68 degrees, then the landlord needs to make sure every level is at least 68. That could mean replacing the windows, providing space heaters, covering the windows with plastic, etc. The person living on the upper floor cannot lower the thermostat below 68, even if it's too warm upstairs. If the thermostat says 68 degrees, the landlord could also try asking the city housing inspector to come out and take a look (thereby showing the tenant that there's no a problem). But that could backfire if the city says that windows need to be replaced.
PA law does allow a tenant to withhold rent due to living conditions that are below the minimum required. A landlord cannot evict a tenant who is lawfully withholding rent. That means the landlord would either need to be able to fix the problem, or establish that the tenant is wrong and the lower level IS 68 degrees, as required.
If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.