No heat

I haven't had heat since Monday - December 12, 2011.  A new heater was installed on Monday - December 19, 2011.  The electrician connected the wires, turned on the thermostat.  It set off my smoke detectors and we smelled fumes.  He called the guy that installed the heater.  He informed me that the guy said to lift up my windows and turned off the thermostat.  He'll be out here tomorrow meaning today.  It is now 4:53pm. My friend called the real estate and spoke to the owner he's telling him to turn back on the thermostat.  I am not risking my life nor my daughter's life for something that I know its not safe.  I thought went a new system such as a heater gets installed some one from the gas company suppose to come and inspect it.  The owner also told me that I can get out.  I have resided in this apartment it will be fifteen years this February.  PLEASE HELP US and tell me what can I do.  Thank you for any assistance that you can give me.

Asked over 9 years ago in Pennsylvania
Categories: Landlord-Tenant

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Sharmil McKee

Answer by Sharmil McKee

VerifiedPennsylvania lawyer

You have 3 options. First, call your county's license and Inspection department.  It is the winter and your apartment should have heat. Second, you have the option of hiring an electrician or contractor to fix the heat; if you select this option. you can deduct the repairman's bill from your rent. Be sure to keep a copy of the bill and send your landlord a letter.  Ordinarily, you would give the landlord time to fix the problem before you hire a repairman. However, this appears to be an emergency situation.  so, just call the landlord and let them know that you are hiring a repairman and will deduct it from your next month's rent. Third, you have the option of filing a complaint with the PA Attorney General, Consumer Protection Unit. You can file a complaint online here: Your fourth option, is to move into a hotel room until the heat is restored, and sue your landlord in court for the amount of the hotel bill.  Be sure to send your landlord a written letter that you are moving into a hotel until the heat is restored and you require him to pay the hotel bill. And the final option that you have is to move out, and sue the landlord for constructive eviction in small claims.
Please feel free to contact me if you need more assistance. Good luck.
Sharmil McKee

Posted over 9 years ago

Sharmil McKee | Business Lawyer | Philadelphia, PA |

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Sharmil McKee, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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