question....

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RaVeRiNaBuBbLe
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question....

Postby RaVeRiNaBuBbLe » Tue May 22, 2007 7:40 pm

i know a lot of you were a big help to me when i was trying to find an apartment. i could use your help again.

no problems regarding my animals, thank goodness. but i was wondering if anyone might know the legalities of this issue:

there are 3 families living in my building. but the landlord makes us pay for oil.

in the winter, we didn't mind, because the woman downstairs got evicted, and the family in the basement has electric heat. but we all need the oil for hot water.

so now it is spring, there is a new tennant living downstairs, and they converted her part of the house to electric heat as well, we opted to keep oil heat. but now that no one is using heat at all, is it right of our landlord to make us fill the oil tank and pay for it, when we are all using hot water and nothing else? (not to mention, we ourselves rarely even use hot water because ryan showers 2x a day at work, and i shower at my parents after work when i pick up my daughter from their house after work.) at most, i use hot water every other day for dishes, and on the weekends for bathing/showering.

we're really getting the raw end of the deal here, this is a horrible first time renting experience. there are other problems, but this is my biggest as far as something i might be able to do legally.

if i can do something, it will take a lot of effort and a damn good lawyer, because both of my landlords are lawyers.

i'm just so frustrated. any help is appreciated.
~Michele~

In Loving Memory of Mr. Pecan Oglethorpe (P.O.) and Molly MoMo. Momma will miss you, Babies.

Nativeprincess
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Postby Nativeprincess » Tue May 22, 2007 8:33 pm

per my law school friend
If all the other families are using electric and you ar the only one using the oil then yes they can legaly make you pay for it. I guess they see it as any other utility and since yours is the only family using it you can't split the bill with any one.
Unless I have misunderstood the situation

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RaVeRiNaBuBbLe
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Postby RaVeRiNaBuBbLe » Tue May 22, 2007 8:40 pm

i don't think you misunderstood, perhaps i was a little unclear.

we are the only ones with oil heat. but the hot water heater for the building runs off of oil. so everyone uses the oil, its just different in the winter when we have the heat on.
~Michele~



In Loving Memory of Mr. Pecan Oglethorpe (P.O.) and Molly MoMo. Momma will miss you, Babies.

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Postby Nativeprincess » Tue May 22, 2007 9:25 pm

ohhhhh ok now thats a diffrent situation entierly. Have you tryed speaking to the landlord about it? cuz yea i agree thats kinda tacky. I think legaly it would have to come down to exactly what the rental contract says to be able to tell if u have any wiggle room, but ive seen (at least in CA) landlords getaway with a lot less :(

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Postby Helen » Tue May 22, 2007 9:33 pm

Well in my house, (my mother is the landlord) heat and water is included in the rent. Gas on the otherhand is different, you pay for your own. But heat and hot water should be paid for by the landlord with your rent. This appears to be a very shady deal to me. Easiest situation is to switch to electrical heat that way the landlord is obligated to pay for the hot water.


Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't hot water and heat usually part of the deal when renting a house? Because when I used to live in an apartment we were never obligated to fill the tank for heat. This might be a local law for me but...I thought this was everywhere...


Also is the landlord living in the building your living in? If s/he is they are totally ripping you off. I think this is a very tacky, shady deal they are making.
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RaVeRiNaBuBbLe
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Postby RaVeRiNaBuBbLe » Tue May 22, 2007 9:42 pm

that will vary landlord to landlord. but i would think in a situation where 3 tennants have some sort of utility that runs off oil, that the bill should be split. i would think that the oil should be in the landlords name ( he refused to get a service contract, so we had to get one in our name just so we could have heat. no one here will deliver oil w/o a service contract)

i opted not to switch to electric heat because our building is very old, and it would cost a fortune and take a lot of time to update everything (it's not an apartment building, it used to be a bar, it looks like a house, but it's split into 3 apartments.) it would require re-insulating, new windows. a lot would need to be ripped apart. if we'd have gone with electric heat, the bill would be through the roof with how drafty it is here. i pity the woman downstairs and what she will have to pay come next winter.
~Michele~



In Loving Memory of Mr. Pecan Oglethorpe (P.O.) and Molly MoMo. Momma will miss you, Babies.

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Postby Helen » Tue May 22, 2007 10:45 pm

O ok. I'm beginning to wonder if this is even a legal residence anymore, the way you describe it, it doens't appear to be so, and yes the service contract should totally be in the landlords name, there seems to be something really fishy going on there.

http://www.consumer.state.ny.us/clahm/c ... In-Heating

This might jsut be NY state, but under this passage below it appears to me that the landlord should be paying for the oil, meaning heat which usually means hot water as well...


Rent Deduction/Lack of Oil Delivery
A tenant (or group of tenants where 3 or more tenants reside) may deduct from rental payments the cost of heating oil when a lack of heat exists due to the landlords failure to have oil supplied to the premises. It is required that the tenant obtain the fuel oil from the landlords regular supplier and that all receipts be turned over to the landlord when a rent reduction is requested. The tenant may also recover costs and attorneys fees accrued as a result of an eviction action brought by the landlord resulting from the tenants activities under this section.


You might want to check it for where you are...but seeing that you didn't put a state I'm going to say that you are in a flyer unfriendly state and I think that you might have to take molly into consideration if you find a similar clause for your state as well and plan on doing something about it.
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Postby Helen » Tue May 22, 2007 10:48 pm

Oh btw, the search engin I used was

http://www.usa.gov/

I typed in heating laws in NY tenants rights. or something like that.
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Postby Nativeprincess » Wed May 23, 2007 1:36 am

helen,
Most utilities are in the renters name not the land lord. If the landlord includes them in the rent then there in his/er name, but if not then its up to the renter.
Heat is a utility somtimes part of gas/electirc or oil. its not mandatory for them to inclue any utility in the bill. I think becasue the oil was optional, becasue they had the option to go to electric that it kinda makes it an exstra thing.
I suspect hat clasue might pertain to if the oil was part of the rental agreement in wich case thy'd be correct. but if its treated like a normal utility..and I cant see why it wouldn;t be then yeah not so much.


However from a purely scientific point of view.....how is oil heat more efficent than electric? I mean heat is heat isn't it? whether it comes from a....ahh..where ever heat comes from.....I just relized I know nothing of heaters...at all......we have never used one, wow......i feel so defficent ^_^

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Postby Linda » Wed May 23, 2007 10:27 am

Sounds like the other tenants should have their own hot water heaters. Or get them to pay a share of the oil vs cost of a new hot water heater. Any way to compare bills for previous years and figure out what would be fair?
If you truly don't use the hot water, tell them you are cutting off the oil going to it if they don't help you pay for it. You can heat water for washing dishes with an electric kettle.
However from a purely scientific point of view.....how is oil heat more efficent than electric?

Cost per BTU is much more for electric than gas or oil. Go to an appliance store and check the cost to operate gas vs electric for hot water heaters and dryers.
Amanda and Linda


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