The landlord in my mother's retirement community turns off the heat for half the year and the A/C for the other half. Is this legal?

Asked by donna.gemperle, Concord, CA Fri Oct 26, 2012

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Denise Russo, Agent, concord, CA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Are you sure the landlord is actually shutting it off? Maybe it is broken or he/she has it on the PG&E energy savings program. I suggest speaking to the landlord before the chilly winter nights set in. I can sympathize with you because I cannot handle being cold so I can't imagine what your mother must have gone through last winter. If her landlord does not make steps to correct the situation, then yes, I would imagine that could constitute as elder abuse as one of the other realtors pointed out. Good luck.
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Pacita Dimac…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
If the change in temperature poses a health discomfort or even health hazard for your mother, start by speaking to and asking the landlord to maintain a certain level. My 88 year old parents are always cold, and prefer a higher temperature, so I can totally empathize.

But if the landlord is unsympathetic, this may be considered Elder Abuse. So perhaps you should check with the agency who can help you.

Good luck
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Wes Knapp, Agent, Concord, CA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Must be frustrating for your mom. Could a portable wall heater alleviate the difference in temperature?

Thank you,

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Maybe yes. Maybe no.

I expect your local laws require that landlords maintain a habitable property. And so, for instance, an interior temperature of 40 degrees in the winter probably wouldn't meet the definition of habitable. But 68 degrees? That's probably OK.

So the answer (the legality) depends on your local laws.

Also, your mother should check her lease to see what it says about provision of heat and airconditioning.

Hope that helps.
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