When do I tell tenant they dont control the thermostat

34 Replies

@Frank Mwaisaka

The right time is now, today.  If they don't agree, they can leave (depending on your contract, I guess the first option is for them to leave).  Ideally you need separate AC/Heat units so they can control the temp.  Good luck.  

The 4 unit apartment building I bought only had 3 heating systems, but each apartment had a thermostat.  As I renovated it we discovered that in apartment 4 there was a thermostat screwed onto the wall, but not hooked to electricity, to anything.  This was an old 1970's thermostat.  So the people in this apartment could put the temperature at whatever they wanted.  But apartment 3 actually controlled the heat for both apartments.

Don't do it this way, tell them they have no control!  And let the people downstairs know to be nice if they go out all day to work or whatever to leave the heat on for the upstairs guys.

@Mary M. No, bad tenant😂! 🙏🏾Please, no space heaters, and no open windows. As an HVAC tech and ex-Landlord, that makes me cringe. The energy cost, waste and carbon footprint go through the roof!

Sub-meter as soon as possible. Not cool to have one tenant dependant upon the next for comfort, or one accountable for the others excess energy usage. Just my three cents.

Tell them when showing or on initial contact.   Install a temperature limiting thermostat such as  landlordstat in the the lower unit which will revert to the 68-70 that you are required to provide and no higher. That way you will not have the upper unit complaining it is too hot since hot air rises and it may save you costs on heat.  If you don't have a common electric meter for the HVAC your lower unit is paying electric for the heat. Your best move and I hate to say it is to go to all electric for the second unit but I would bring an HVAC guy in to confirm that before you move another tenant in.

Originally posted by @Kenneth Bullock :

@Mary M. No, bad tenant😂! 🙏🏾Please, no space heaters, and no open windows.

 lol!  hey, I get it!  I live at 58/62 degrees....  so I save as much energy as possible...  however, if forced to live with 68/70 degrees,  windows are open all.winter.long :) 

@Frank Mwaisaka

Day 1. Put a lock box on the thermostat and call it a day. I’d never let them touch it. Ever. You’ll drive by on a 10 degree winter day, and all the windows will be open, and the thermostats will be set to 85 degrees haha

Thank you so much for your comments, this was very helpful. I did go ahead and told the prospective upstairs tenants about the thermostat situation before signing a lease. They were okay with the downstairs tenant controlling the thermostat. I hope it will stay like this while I am figuring out a long-term solution. They signed the lease and should be moving in on any day next week.