Renting A Cold House! What Should I Do?

10 Replies

Happy New Years, BP family! It's been a while since I posted, but I have a question. About 5 months ago, I rented a 1-level house in Southeastern Michigan. Nice 3BR home. The problem is that it is so poorly insulated that the 2 back bedrooms are basically unusable due to the coldness coming in through the floor, the closet, and the baseboards. In fact , there is so much air coming into the house as a whole that the furnace is constantly, constantly running - costing us a fortune just to keep it comfortable in here. I'm not sure how difficult it is to insulate the underside of the house (as well as the rest of the house). But, my question is this: If the landlord is unable or unwilling to fix this problem, What should I do???

Leave! What else can you do 

you need to let landlord know first. Maybe he brought it recently and in not aware of issue.

Thank you Cameron and Sai. Just from what I've learned on BP, I can tell you for sure that this is a flip-house. But, yes, in all fairness, do plan to let him know. I decided to reach out first, because this my first time actually renting a house, and would like to know the best way to go about the situation. Generally speaking, I think the landlord is a good guy. But, he has never provided me with anything other than an email address to contact him, which leads me to believe that he may tend to neglect his tenants a bit.
No, the heating is forced-air.
Originally posted by @George Jones :
Thank you Cameron and Sai. Just from what I've learned on BP, I can tell you for sure that this is a flip-house. But, yes, in all fairness, do plan to let him know. I decided to reach out first, because this my first time actually renting a house, and would like to know the best way to go about the situation. Generally speaking, I think the landlord is a good guy. But, he has never provided me with anything other than an email address to contact him, which leads me to believe that he may tend to neglect his tenants a bit.

 Maybe but not necessarily some teanants call LL anytime and many times regardless of the issue, if it is minor  or not.

For e.g. Cozy.com , Zillow, REDFIN and many companies do not have CS by phone 

Good point, Sai. I didn't realize that tenants calling for no good reasons might be the case. (he uses cozy.co as well). Thank you for your feedback, Sai.

There are few different ways to handle this. First you must contact landlord and document it. Email is great because you have proof and not a he said she said situation.  if he still refuses to fix it then it's not going to be fun doing the rest of steps. You man have to place rent payment in an escrow account with court until repairs are made. I have a property with a similar situation. Tenant complained and I went to lowes bought insulation and blew in attic myself. Took care of problems

Do some research in your area what sort of heat a landlord has to provide. 

Some years ago I had a problem in a condo I was renting. THe landlord gave me 2 space heaters, but I didn't pay attention. Turns out they had radiant heating in the ceilings and it had failed in some of the rooms. The space heaters (of course you could only plug one into one circuit) couldn't handle it. 

I then did some research and there was some law that the landlord had to provide adequate heating, so that a certain point x feet above the ground has to be able to reach 70F within a certain amount of time. 

I'm sure each state has their own rules. 

So, figure out what the law is, because that makes it much easier to negotiate with the landlord and force him to do something.

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