Need Advice Landlord/Boiler Situation

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Redcatcher, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    I really do appreciate and use the advice I get here so if you have anything that might be helpful, feel free. For those who have not been following my story, this is the situation: I am renting half of an old farmhouse that is undergoing renovation. The old steam boiler is failing and the landlord does not want replace it and cannot afford to. I was supposed to have moved out last November but he extended it until May. I understand his position. The failure has been a gradual thing which started around December. Basically, there is a hole somewhere in the boiler and steam is escaping and going up the chimney. I was told the hole will continue to get bigger. The problem, besides having to fill the boiler 2-3 times a day, is all that heat is going up the chimney. His solution is to run a line from his hot water furnace over to my side. The problem is he wants $1000 from me, up front, which would be applied towards heating fuel until I move out. He said I could keep the thermostat at 68* day and night if I wanted to. IF I did, it would probably be a bargain but I am perfectly comfortable at keeping the thermostat at 62* to 65* during the day and 50* to 55* at night. I honestly do not think that I will go through the $1000. I told him this and it offended him as if I thought he was trying to rip me off. Well, now I am down to 1/8th a tan of fuel and he is using THAT as a guideline as to much fuel I would be using. I would say 50% went up the chimney. I do NOT want to force him to provide me with heat or withhold rent. What I think would be fair is if he ran the lines (he does the work himself) and I would pay so much a week. He said no to that. What would be fair? Any ideas?

  2. sfw2

    sfw2 Global Menace

    I don't know where you're located, so I don't know how long you're going to need the heat. What kind of agreement do you have with your landlord? A written lease? It seems to me that if your rent includes heat (from whatever source), then your landlord needs to provide you with heat. If he doesn't want to replace the boiler, he needs to provide you with another heat source.

    Disclaimer: I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY, NOR DO I PLAY ONE ON TV. This is my opinion, not legal advice. [​IMG]
  3. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    I am in NH. At this time of year it should be in the 20's or 30's during the day and teens or 20's at night. Well the past week it has been -10* at night and the daytime high yesterday was about 8*. The temperatures were relatively mild when I turned his offer down. There is no lease. He does have to provide me with heat but I think he is within his rights to ask for money to be applied towards heating oil. Who can afford $1000 up front though? Even the oil companies allow time to pay the bill off. Starting around mid March, the furnace only needs to run at night. It all depends on what the weather is like. Some years, it could be be much earlier. I am a retired lawyer myself. But want to take the moral route here, not the legal one.
  4. onecent

    onecent Songster

    would it be cheaper to have the boiler fixed? I googled boiler repairs, & they can be fixed by welding them, just a thought.
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:Well.. if you dont have the $1000 up front you dont..simple as that.
    He is a landlord.. he has to provide you with a heat SOURCE in the winter up here. He has been providing heat/boiler allll along.... he cant just stop mid-lease cause his boiler broke.
    He ALSO HAS to provide you with hot water....
    Yes...he can ASK for that money..but its NOT in your agreement that you HAVE to pay him $1000 up front for heat...
    He cant just change the agreement cause his boiler broke... Hes gotta fix it..OR find another way to provide you heat thats acceptable to you too. And asking for $1000 up front isnt acceptable to you...
    HE cant just say..oh well..the boiler broke... you have to pay me $1000... doesnt work that way,
    Is he your buddy?? I can understand it being difficult if he is... but really..he dont care if your freezing your ass off, now does he?
    I would not care... i'd be on the phone sooo quick to nail him. Its frickin COLD!!
    Sure he can also kick you out... but that takes a while... and again...hes STILL got to provide you with a source of getting heat/hot water. He does not have to provide you with oil, however...
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011

  6. bgelber

    bgelber Songster

    Jul 24, 2009
    Athens, al
    It is legally his responsibility to fix the boiler or find an alternative safe heating source. You do not have to pay for any of this and this is part of maintaining the property unless you agreed up front and in writing that you would "maintain" the property.

    Here the landlord has ten days from the time they are notified to fix a problem, if they don't then they can be fined by the state.

    I am not a attorney but I have looked into renters law as we were thinking about going into rental properties not that long ago.
  7. Pollo Blanco

    Pollo Blanco In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    Bellevue, WA (Seattle)
    I would thank him for his offer but graciously turn it down. I would then pick up a couple of electric space heaters to heat my home until I moved out.
  8. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Hm, $1000 seems liek that's what he needs to fix his boiler - especially if he gets to pay his oil bill in payments
    just a thougt
  9. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Crowing

    Jan 12, 2010
    umm.... You're a lawyer........ Does he know that? LOL!

    If he just wants the oil filled, pay for a tank yourself. Then when you go to leave, contact the company that delivered it and ask them to pump (see if they'll do it before you fill it) whats left back out and give you a refund. If he's trying to get money from you up front, to pay for the boiler that he's going to benefit from, that's just wrong and I wouldn't do it! [​IMG]

    Unless... you can live rent free, plus your full deposit back, to recoup all your costs.

    PS... if he has no money, how is he able to renovate the house?

  10. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Songster

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    We are buddies half of the time and the other half of the time he is riding me about the rent with threats of eviction. I have been late a few of times because I am semi-retired and my little business on the side is very slow during the holidays. I ALWAYS catch up though and was on time for three out of four years. His favorite line is "I'm paying YOU to live here". What!? Even if I did not pay rent for the next year, it would not be money out of his pocket. While it is not ALL profit, he has profited by a few thousand dollars. Some of that money should have been set aside for emergency repairs but he put it all into the house (though none of it went directly into the upkeep of my half other than a new john and shower stall). There is no agreement or lease so it is all open to interpretation. He is not concerned that I am a lawyer because he knows I am a good 'ol boy.

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