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My landlord is forcing me to pay for the cost of heat tapeto…

Hi, my landlord is...

Hi, my landlord is forcing me to pay for the cost of heat tapeto heat pipes( mine and tennent of first floor)which is wrapped around the pipes outside of both apartments, the water heaters are in an unheated room off my apartment which he locked today with heat tape plugged into my elec, im not able to dajust temp on my water heater and he may have plugged in an eletric heater<(costly). can he do that? he said he cut a vent from first floor apartment to the shed, so both tenents are now forced to pay to heat a room and pipes, there is no insulation of room of water heater swhich are gas. this is very costly to to us tenents. ive been here for 4 1/2 years.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Pa, butler city

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

Not really

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I took off 20$ on rent to help cover my costs on elec. for the winer he took a fit!

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/15/2018
barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 43,037
Experience: Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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Are you under a fixed term lease or are you month to month?

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Did the landlord notify you in advance that he was going to charge you for the heat tape?

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Why did this all happen.... did someone let the pipes freeze?

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And this is natural gas water heaters where the gas is burned and puts off heat to heat the water and the exhaust goes up a pipe and outside while heating the room?

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.

thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
was one year lease, 525 month, about 5 months ago he gave all his places to his son. was never notified, i found out the first time my pipes froze, he plugged them and a elec. heater into outlets that i found out later were on my elec system. it happened when i took 20# ***** rent to help cover my costs. and yes, both water heaters are, outside of my apartment is like a sed, undeated and not insulated, very cold in there in winter
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
the heat tape is only around pipes outside of both apartments, behind main wall of house

Ok, then if you are under a fixed term lease, the landlord can't do anything to change the terms of your lease, including forcing you to pay for heat tape installed on the pipes to prevent freezing. Keeping the pipes insulated and thawed is the landlord's responsibility and his cost.

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So you are within your legal rights to refuse to allow him to use your electric unless you are compensated for its use.

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As an aside, heat tape doesn't run continuously, it has an integrated thermostat that only kicks on when the temperature gets below freezing... But this time of year that may mean it is running round the clock...

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So I think you have legal grounds to ask for some type of credit/reimbursement for any increased electrical usage and can sue the landlord in small claims court for breach of contract if he refuses to compensate you for using your electric.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
he also put a lock of the shed door, so i cant unplug them or turn my water heater up orr down, i also have belongings in there. id say he will raise my rent

That would also constitute a change to the terms of your lease if you had access before. So he can't legally lock you out of an area that was included in your lease for your storage..

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I would suggest sending him a certified letter first requesting that he provide you with a key for access to the storage area and also for compensation for the additional electrical usage on your account or you will be forced to take legal action and file suit.

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Then if they ignore you, you will have to file suit for breach of contract in small claims court and ask the just to order him to allow you access to the storage room and award you damages for the electric.

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thanks

Barrister

barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 43,037
Experience: Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years
Verified
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