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legalgems
legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 8074
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Our Apt is older and the Apt above us has control of the thermostat.

Customer Question

Our Apt is older and the Apt above us has control of the thermostat. We both pay our own Electric bill {not sure how that is determined 50/50 ?} We have no access to thermostat at all. The Tenant above us was evicted several days ago so the Landlord is now controlling the thermostat to both apts. He turns it on or off to how he feels it is needed. He does not live on this Property. We have lived here 3 years never late or missed a rent Payment seems to get upset if you report any repairs . We are in our 60's so no partying or trouble from us. It was very hot in our apt he turned off the ac without even notifying us. When we asked him about it he said open your windows . The only windows that open partially are in the bedroom . Please advise
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  legalgems replied 10 months ago.
What state is this in regards ***** *****?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Illinois
Expert:  legalgems replied 10 months ago.
Thank you; if the landlord (LL) provides the unit with the ability to be air conditioned, then the LL has a duty to maintain the air conditioning unit (the tenant may be responsible for filters). That is generally construed as including having access to the operating functions to control the temperature. However, in addition, there is a statutory prohibition against the tenant having to pay an arbitrary amount for utilities; please see: (765 ILCS 735/1.2) (from Ch. 80, par. 62.2) Sec. 1.2. Certain tenant-paid utility payment arrangements prohibited; Notice of change in payment arrangement. (a) No landlord shall rent or cause to be rented any unit in which the tenant is responsible by agreement, implication, or otherwise for direct payment for utility service to the utility company and in which the utility company billing for that service includes any service to common areas of the building or other units or areas used or occupied by persons other than the individual tenant and those occupying the unit with the tenant on the utility account, unless, before offering an initial lease or a renewal lease, accepting a security deposit, or otherwise entering into an agreement with the prospective tenant to let the premises: (1) The landlord provides the prospective tenant with a written statement setting forth the specific areas of the building and any appurtenances that are served by the meter that will be in the tenant's name and the nature of the utility uses of those areas, including any that have not been reflected in past utility company billings but that may arise (such as the rental of a neighboring unit that has been vacant, the installation of washers and driers in the basement, or the use of the garage for mechanics); (2) The landlord provides the prospective tenant with copies of the utility bills for the unit for the previous 12 months, unless waived by the tenant in writing; (3) The landlord neither suggests nor requires the tenant to collect any money for utility bills from neighboring tenants whose utility usage will be reflected in the prospective tenant's utility company billings; and (4) The landlord sets forth in writing the amount of the proposed rent reduction, if any, that is offered to compensate for the tenant's payments for utility usage outside of the tenant's unit. (b) No landlord shall request or cause to be effected a change (i) from landlord-paid master metered utilities to tenant-paid individually metered utilities or (ii) from landlord-paid to tenant-paid utilities, regardless of the metering arrangement, during the term of a lease. The landlord shall provide a minimum of 30 days notice to each affected tenant before effecting such a change in service; for tenants under a lease, the notice shall be provided to the tenants no less than 30 days before the expiration of the lease term. This subsection does not prohibit the landlord and tenant from agreeing to amend the lease to effect such a change; the amendment must be in writing and subscribed by both parties. (c) Any term or condition in a rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant that is inconsistent with this Section is void and unenforceable. (d) Nothing in this Section affects the relationship between a utility company and its customers. (Source: P.A. 87-178.) (765 ILCS 735/1.3) (from Ch. 80, par. 62.3) Sec. 1.3. Tenant remedies and burdens of proof. (a) A residential tenant shall be entitled to recover damages from the landlord for the utility bills rendered in the tenant's name as a result of the landlord's violation of this Act and which the landlord has not paid to the utility company. The tenant shall have the burden of establishing that the tenant was billed for utility service as a result of the landlord's violation of this Act. Upon proof by the tenant that the tenant was billed an amount for service not attributable to the unit or premises occupied by the tenant, the landlord shall be liable to the tenant for 100% of those utility bills. However, this sum shall be reduced by whatever percentage of use that the court finds that the landlord has established to have been attributable to the unit or premises the tenant occupied during the period that the violation continued. The tenant may recover these damages by an action at law or by a counterclaim in any action brought by the landlord against the tenant. The court may treble the damage award when the court finds that the landlord's violation of this Act was knowing or intentional. The tenant may also recover costs and fees, including attorneys fees, if the amount awarded by the court for utility service is in excess of $3,000. The remedies contained in this Act do not limit or supersede any remedies the tenant may have under a lease, contract, or the laws, including the common law, of this State. (b) This Section shall be prospective in application; the remedies shall not attach to any violation that occurred before July 1, 1992. (c) Nothing in this Section affects the relationship between a utility company and its customers. (Source: P.A. 87-178; 87-895.) (765 ILCS 735/1.4) (from Ch. 80, par. 62.4) Sec. 1.4. Prohibition on termination of utility service by landlord. No landlord shall cause or request utility service to tenants to be interrupted, discontinued, or terminated in an occupied building (i) by nonpayment of utility bills for which the landlord has assumed responsibility by agreement or by implication (such as where the utilities are master metered) or (ii) by tampering with equipment or lines. This Section does not prohibit temporary utility shutoffs in cases of emergencies such as gas leaks or fire or, upon 7 days written notice to each affected tenant, temporary shutoffs required for building repairs or rehabilitation. (Source: P.A. 87-177; 87-895.) This explains it in detail: http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=797 You had mentioned you have had problems in the past re: repair issues: this is the relevant statute (note the LL's responsibility):http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2605 If your apartment needs repairs, you should:Notify the landlord immediately by telephone and follow up with a written letter;Keep a copy of the letter for your records;Keep track of when you made the oral demands for repairs;Take pictures of the damage for your records; andIf the landlord does not make the repairs, you should contact the landlord to find out if and when he or she will make the repairs.After notifying the landlord in writing you must wait 14 days to make the repair, if the landlord has not made the repair by then.Unless- There are emergency conditions that require the repair to be made sooner. Then the repair can be made right away. Thank you for using Just Answer.I hope the information I provided is useful. If you need further clarification please post here and I will reply as soon as I see it; otherwise, Kindly-Rate Positively- This does Not result in additional charges to the customer and allows the site to credit me for assisting you today.Thank you and take care!No attorney client relationship is created as this is general legal information, not advice; and a personal attorney should be hired if one wishes specific legal advice for their personal situation.
Expert:  legalgems replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer.I hope the information provided was useful.Here is a link to the bar association's legal referral site:http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory/Should you have further questions please post here; otherwise kindly--- Rate Positively---so the site credits me for assisting you.Thank you and take care!
Expert:  legalgems replied 10 months ago.
Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat. Satisfied? Kindly rate positively so I receive credit for assisting you.(no additional charges are incurred). Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.