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Heat emergency

No heat in the winter can be life threatening

Here's what you need to know
  • What is the cause of the heat loss?
    •  breakdown?
    • non payment/shut off?
  • Who pays the utility company that makes heat?
    • Landlord
    • Tenant pays utility company
    • Tenant pays utility reseller
  • What utility company supplies the unit/development?
  • Has Landlord been notified? In writing?
  • What have tenants been told about the problem?
  • Are emergency responders involved? Police/Fire/Rescue? Red Cross?
  • What tenants need emergency shelter? Elderly? Disabled? Children? Pets?

 The basics
1.  If the problem is a breakdown of heating system, landlord is responsible to repair.  To speed the repair process, tenants may
  • seek a motion to compel repairs under ORC 5321.07
    • written notice to landlord
    • contact attorney or the court staff and ask for help to file emergency motion to compel
    • get court order (and maybe assistance with emergency shelter or rent abatement)
  • seek assistance of code enforcement (or local government generally) to order/urge/monitor repair process
  • get media to pay attention to the problem.  TV likes this kind of story because there are nice visuals.  LINK
2.  If the problem is non payment shut off and landlord pays the utility supplier, then...tenants can contact Public Utilities Commission of Ohio  Under PUCO regulations, service can be restored and tenants deposit next rent with local court in order to pay the outstanding utility bill.  More here.

3/ If the problem is a non payment shut off and the tenant failed to pay the bill, then tenant should talk to the utility company about public assistance programs which might be able to get service reconnected.  More info here.
NOTE:  Customers of Rural Cooperatives and Third Party resellers are not eligible for public benefit progams like PIPP +

Notes & Links