Is my landlord required to provide heat?
Your landlord is required to provide heating systems that can keep living spaces at 68 degrees Fahrenheit from October 1 through April 30.
If the outside temperature drops below 60 degrees in September or May, then your landlord must provide heating systems then as well.
See the Property Maintenance Code Section 602.
It’s not 68 degrees in my rental property. What can I do?
- Send a text, email or letter to your landlord asking them to fix the heater or provide adequate heat.
- Get a thermometer and measure the temperature in your coldest room. Take photos of the thermometer at least twice a day and keep a written record of the date, time and temperature until the temperature is above 68 degrees.
- Contact Licenses & Inspections (L&I) by calling 311. They should treat your complaint as an emergency and can cite your rental property for violations including heat.
- If your property is cited by L&I and your landlord retaliates against you, file a complaint with the Fair Housing Commission.
- If you live in public housing, request a Grievance Hearing.
- If you are still don’t have heat, contact City Council. Search for your representative using this interactive map.
My electric or gas bill is really high because of heating costs. What can I do?
- If the heater is inefficient or not working properly, follow the instructions above. If you asked the landlord in writing to repair the heater and they did not do so, you may demand that the landlord pay for excess utility bills. It’s helpful if you can show that the bills this year are higher than in previous years. For more information, visit our article on suing your landlord.
- If your rental property is not properly insulated, visit a Neighborhood Energy Center and apply for Weatherization Assistance. For more information about Weatherization, visit the PA Weatherization Assistance Program website.
- If you are setting the thermostat higher than 75 each day, consider lowering the temperature when you are out or sleeping.
- If you need help paying the bill, apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and other energy assistance programs.
- If you have electric heat, call PECO at 1-800-494-4000. Tell them that you pay for electric heat and confirm that they are charging you residential heating rates.