Can our landlords be held liable for excessive heating bills if their equiptment was faulty?

UPDATED: May 8, 2012

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Can our landlords be held liable for excessive heating bills if their equiptment was faulty?

Over the past 2 years I have been recieving very high heating bills on a budget plan. I repeadedly requested the property management and the electric company to review and check the meter over and over again. According to the electric company the meter is reading is based on the amount of energy used. My family and I are only at home in the evening. We’ve noticed our theromost stat is not leveled and requested maintanance several times to repair the problem. Ultimately, 2 years later the theromost stat needed to be replaced because it was turning on and off at random because it was old and not functioning properly.

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A landlord is responsible for the maintenance of the rental premises (unless the lease specifically makes the tenants responsible). If the landlord has notice that this or may be a problem and does not correct it, he or she can be liable for the damages, costs, losses, etc. caused by that issue. If the landlord will not reimburse you for the excess costs voluntarily, you would need to sue him or her for them, which--depending on how much is at stake--may or not not be worth it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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