Am I unreasonable for wishing for some kinf of rent discount?

I would never ask, as I am a coward but here is why I guess I would feel entitled to one.

It’s been a really crappy winter for everyone in a lot of the country but I feel we are entitled to some form of heat.

I have an old house yes, but my heat is ridiculous. On colder nights my house gets into the 50s, we either have to layer in a ton of blankets, sweat shearts, etc or stay at a hotel. Really cold days we crank the heat up and turn the oven on, stuff blankets under the doors, pin sheets and blankets over the windows, we’ve put plastic over the windows, any precaution you could do, but it’s cold, you can feel it. My landlord knows this. “Yeah, it gets chilli.”, she says."

This month, regardless of water running, the pipes burst. They fixed it. The put a space heater in the basement (It’s been running for 2 weeks, my god i’m not looking forward to my electric bill) and despite that, I’ve been 3 days without hot water in my kitchen and no water to wash clothes with because my lines are froze again. It’s frustrating!

My laundry room is another story in itself, I have to block it off from the rest of the house because I believe any room I can see my breath in is not a comfortable room to be in.

Now, here are some things that could potential be swaying here away from anything like a potential discount. We are moving out and buying a home 1 month prior to our lease ending, which is only one month away so we are almost done. She probably figures she has done us a favor, although we have discussed this many months ago and agreed that this is ok many months ago. I don’t know, we are good tennants, we haven’t messed up the property, I could be overreacting. My wife understandably doesn’t want to raise a fuss because she wants the deposit back when we move in a month.

Sorry, I just felt like blowing off some steam, this cold is getting to me. It’s supposed to warm up some this week, maybe I’ll feel better when it does.

Any kind of rent discount would need to be discussed and agreed up front, I very much doubt you would be successful in achieving a restrospective discount. Sucks, but that’s renting for you. On the plus side, you are buying your own home! That’s cool!

As I understand it, the landlord has an obligation to maintain a rental property in an “occupyable” condition. If he fails to do so, you are due some recompense. With only a couple of months to go before you get out, it probably isn’t worth pursuing, though.

People really need to be proactive with this sort of stuff. Your living situation is close to inhabitable. I would at least talk to the landlord about getting some help with the electric bill for the space heater since it’s being used as preventative maintenance. Maybe look into some tenant resources in your area to see if there is anything you can do. Not having hot water for days seems like it should be some kind of violation.

Depending on where you live, there may be some sort of tenant/landlord ordinance laying out minimum temperatures, etc. (There is here in Chicago) If that exists, you may have a cause of action.

Absent that, your best remedy for a bad rental experience is just moving out. Which is looks like you are already doing.

If the cost of heat is included in your rent, then your landlord is obligated to heat the house to temperatures required by law. I would look up the law in your area if I were you. (In Chicago, rentals with heat included must be heated to 68F during the day and 66F at night) If the home’s regular heating system can’t provide that level of heat, they have to provide space heaters and either discount a certain amount of rent or supplement the electric bill.

If the cost of heat is not included in your lease, you’re on your own as far as sucking up the expense to heat the place to where you’re comfortable. Now, if the heating device provided is incapable of heating the home adequately (“cranked up” doesn’t tell me much - if the thermostat is located in a stupid spot, you may have to set it to 80 just to get it to register it needs to stay on) and no matter how it’s set it can’t heat the house to whatever your local requirement is, then you may have a legitimate beef with the landlord. In this case, I would think it reasonable to use space heaters and discount your rent the difference in the electric bill.

On the other hand, (and I’m not saying this is the case at all) if the landlord thinks frozen pipes happened because their tenant isn’t heating the house adequately enough to keep the pipes protected (and the heating system provided is capable), they may have a case to keep your damage deposit, if not also have a case for wanting you to pay the deductible for insurance to fix the damage you caused by not adequately heating the house. Again, I don’t think that’s the case, just throwing possibilities out there.

Tenant protection laws, and landlord protection laws, vary wildly from state to state – and that’s assuming you’re in the U.S.

You say that you pay for the electric, who pays for the heat?

Mmm… chilli…

I pay for electric, the heat is gas, which I pay for as well.

Apologies that I am no help with your rent discount… but for keeping warm fill up a hot water bottle (the rubber kind with screw on cap) and wrap it in a towel and put it between the sheets. It’s a thrifty way to help stay warm at night.

Then why aren’t you in control of the thermostat? Especially if its a standalone house.

I do control the thermostat, but I can turn it up to 80 degrees and it still will only reach 60 on cold nights if I’m lucky.

Having been through unlivable conditions at a rental location before, we looked through our lease determined that the only way to object was to send a notarized document saying what was unlivable (in our case, the roof was collapsing) and that we would be withholding our rent until it was resolved.

Shockingly, the roof got fixed quickly after that.

There should be an ombudsman for your area that can help you out with what your options are.

If it’s plugged into a 120V outlet, then it’s probably rated for no more than 1500 watts. Two weeks (336 hours) of continuous operation is 504 kilowatt-hours. Assuming you pay 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, this is going to add $60 to your electric bill. Yes, you should be asking for some compensation from your landlord for that.

I remember when I lived in the NY Metro area and rented there was a law that from around October 15th to I think April 15th if the temperature was 55 degrees or lower the Land Lord was obligated by law to provide heat. But life when your renting especially in a big city can be rough as some land lords make life miserable for people who complain. If you live in a huge complex the Land Lord will harass you with an eviction notice stating your always causing trouble in the building. You will have to hire an attorney and go to court to defend yourself causing lost of wages if you have a job. Meanwhile the Land Lord will not have to attend the court proceddings as he is represented by his law firm. I have testified on two land lord/tenants disputes as I was summoned to appear in court by the tenant. After watching this experience I decided to buy a condo. I lived a few years in the condo and sold it for a good profit and moved south. Best move I ever made.

**Machine Elf **has it right. If his poor heater is causing his pipes to burst and his solution is to use your electricity. He’s in the wrong.

This part is your tough luck, IMHO.

This is a different story, though. They’re generally obligated to provide you with a place where the water and electricity actually work, unless they wrote some bizarre exception into the lease. They should refund the rent for any days when the pipes froze, and if the space heater in the basement was put there by the landlord in order to keep the pipes from freezing some more, the landlord should pay for the electricity it burns.

But on account of this, it’s hardly worth the trouble to make an issue of it. Even though I think you’re (a) in the right, and (b) would stand a good chance of getting some money back, it probably won’t be worth the hassle since it won’t be a continuing issue.

My advice is to just get out and be glad you’ve done so.

What kind of heating system and when was it last serviced? Regardless there is either something majorly wrong with it or this is just the most poorly insulated house ever built.

I have no idea about the heating to be honest besides that it is forced air gas. It’s very poorly insulated. I believe the house was built in 1907-8?, around that time. The basement/cellar where the furnace is and the pipes are basically just a brick wall (doesn’t even seem like block but I could be wrong) and a small wooden door that doesn’t shut that he tied shut-ish with a piece of plastic string, so there is a breeze always going in. The pipes for the sink and everything else are on the wall where it’s cold, so the freeze quick.

There is no insulation underneath the house, it’s just basement to floor.

The laundry room was an addition. There is no heating ran to it. We have it blocked off becuase it’s the temperature of the outside because it has a door that goes outside to it and also suffers from the breeze from the basement. I don’t think there is much insulation in the walls.

As far as upstairs heat. There is a small heating vent in our bedroom, 3 other bedrooms share 2 vents. The house is too big to heat. Too big to cool in the summertime as well.

I know it’s not up to code because in my last home I had to help my landlord bring my place up to code and that was a nightmare, they were picky as hell! We had to move in quickly. The place we were renting was sold by our last landlord (which I invested a lot of time helping him fix up the house) and we had to move. The inspectors in the city are pretty notorious for letting their buddies get by. It’s a good old boy system and it sucks, there isn’t much I can do because everyone is connected. Luckily I’m moving completely out of the city because everyone is too damn crooked anyway.