Thermostat control in a rental here in MN

8 Replies

Does anyone on here know if it is legal for me to put a lock on the thermastat in my duplex?  The stat is on the main floor and controls both levels.  The new tenants love to have the heat cranked way to hot.  Can I put a lock on it so I can set it to one temp? Or maybe put a wireless stat in the house so I can adjust as needed remotely?

Thanks Aaron 

I don't have time to research it for you but MN has requirements as to how warm a unit has to be heated.  I presume the lower tenants are cranking it up and the upper tenant is hot. 

To answer your question more directly - I think you can as long as you meet the minimum heat requirements...  Look into it first and be prepared for upset tenants.

That's very unusual for a duplex. Was the property built as a duplex or was it a single family house that was converted into a duplex? Is it boiler heat or furnace? To answer your question, wireless will require a wifi signal. I don't think tenants will appreciate not having control over the thermostat. If it's boiler heat and you just have one boiler in the basement for the whole duplex, you can add another zone to it.

@Aaron Harren

1. Is the duplex heated by hot-water radiators?

2. Is this an "over-under duplex", a 2-unit duplex with the apartments stacked on top of each other?

3. How old is the duplex?

Yes you can lock it provided you maintain your required minimum heat setting requirements and your local codes do not state otherwise. Check with your local codes, as a landlord you should always keep a copy of your state/local landlord tenant regulations with you and available at all times. You should know all the regulations before you began operation of your business.

You should look into your local landlord laws. Some jurisdictions state that it is illegal for a unit to NOT have control of their own thermostat. In this case, your whole operation is illegal and you would want to remedy it.

I have two buildings where the utilities are shared and to avoid high temperatures in the the apartment in the winter, I install programmable thermostats that limit the upper temperature. In my case, they are electric baseboard heat and each tenant has their own thermostat, but there may be a similar option for your heating source.

Here's the one I use: http://controlscentral.com/eCatalog.aspx?SearchID=5&q=th401&ViewType=2

I am a big fan of the Chicago controls auto setback thermostat. The tenant has control up to 71 degrees but it auto set backs to the minimums at their varying times- 65 over night and working hours and 68 in the morning and evening.