Rental units must adhere to certain government standards and regulations in order to meet building codes for habitation. A landlord is required to provide a tenant with a reasonably inhabitable space. This includes providing the tenant with cooking utilities, functional electrical outlets and plumbing, as well as a safe method of heating the unit.
Landlords must provide tenants with a safe source of heat for the rental property. This could be a wall or central air/heat unit, a fireplace, radiator or space heater. The heating source must meet all local building codes. It must also be easily accessible to the tenant and safe to operate.
The heating source must be in good condition and completely operable. The rental unit must have sufficient ventilation to accommodate use of the heating source including a functioning chimney, vents and duct work, or exhaust fans. Tenants should be advised of any possible hazards that can occur from use of the heating source to avoid fires.
Landlords and tenants should both check the proper function of all heating elements upon entering into a lease agreement. A professional inspector should be brought in if there is a question on either side of the proper function of the heating unit. The landlord is responsible for maintenance on the heating unit. The tenant should report any malfunctions or misuse of the unit directly to the landlord as soon as the malfunction is noted.
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