Don’t wait for temperature extremes to leave your residents in the cold. Today’s wild and crazy weather patterns mean we must be proactive to withstand the dangers presented by a changing climate. If your renters are already having issues with ailing heating and AC units, now is the time to address HVAC maintenance and system replacement needs.
Earlier this year, landlords in New York and Chicago found themselves scrambling to contend with home heating and hot water systems that failed to work in tenant homes as temperatures plummeted to 20- 50 degrees below zero. Tenants Organizations in the cities fielded thousands of calls from residents desperate for relief from the cold as they were urged to stay indoors by city officials, despite the fact that their homes provided little protection against the winter chill.
As a result of the historic and extreme cold weather and tenant frustrations, hundreds of lawsuits were filed demanding landlords schedule heating repairs to bring their buildings into compliance with area heating ordinances. In the city of Chicago, landlords whose units cannot provide hospitable temperatures of 68 during the day and 66 at night may have to contend with fines of $500-1,000 per day, per violation. Residents are also allowed under Chicago law to purchase heaters or pay for a hotel, which they can later deduct from rent costs – or terminate their lease.
In some instances, the Chicago Mayor instructed the building department to use “police powers” to perform emergency HVAC service and restore heat in buildings. He admonished landlords, stating it was unsafe and unconscionable to allow the situation to go unaddressed 48 hours while beleaguered residents waited for the courts to open to hold landlords accountable.
Similar problems are faced by tenants living in the Philadelphia area as well. If you are the landlord, it is your responsibility to make sure your tenants do not face dangerously cold climates in their rented homes.
Top signs your building heating systems need to be replaced include:
Is it time to replace the heating unit on your property? Avoid hefty fines and costly lawsuits with the help of H & H Heating & Cooling. Schedule a system evaluation, routine maintenance, heating repair services, or learn more about our affordable home comfort systems today.