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What are my rights as a tenant in this situation?
My family and I recently moved into a new apartment. We were told heat is included in rent. However, I never thought to ask who controls the heat. I seen a thermostat in the living room and assumed if I was too cold or too hot I could adjust it to my liking. It was cold last night and I tried turning the heat on for the first time. It didnt work. Turns out, the landlord controls what temperature the house is. It’s an upper and lower. We are upper and below us is the landlord’s collision shop. So apparently when it gets cold enough, they will set the heat downstairs at 70 and that’s what it stays at all winter. No matter what. Well let me tell you, I have a 2 year old son who’s hands and feet were frozen when I checked on him after he went to bed, and I couldn’t do anything about it!
I’m really uncomfortable with the fact that I have zero control over how warm my apartment is! I’m always cold so during winter I keep my heat between 72–74. This year I guess I’m stuck with 70? Not only am I worried about it being too cold, but when it gets really cold out the landlord claims our apartment will be very warm because of their garage being open all the time. The thermostat downstairs will always be kicking on even when our place up here is boiling hot already.
I want to know if there’s anything I can really do about this. There’s only one gas meter so obviously the option of having my own thermostat is out. But what about the fact that the landlord never mentioned this important piece of information? What about the fact that its already icy cold in this place and I can’t make it warm for my kid? Any suggestions or advice? I never would have moved into this overpriced apartment had I been properly informed about the heating situation but I’m afraid I’m stuck for another year because we signed a lease.