Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
The California Basements that are so common in Pasadena area homes are the most common location for the hot water heater and the furnace. From a safety stand point, the hot water heater is required to be strapped to the wall on both the top and the bottom. This protects it from falling in case of an earthquake. From a functional stand point, the water heater should perform its duties well down in the basement. If you are not getting enough hot water in the home, then maybe the temperature is not set high enough or it is too small to handle the needs of the household. The landlord is responsible for providing a functioning water heater, so if it is not working well, then you should request to have a repair person come out to look at it. Good luck to you!
We don't have the option of putting it in the garage (it would freeze), nor outside. Sometimes we find it inside in a small utility room, or under a kitchen counter, but that's rare.
I'd be more concerned with "bad plumbing" than a basement location for your water heater.