Heating Season is Here Again

Are you a landlord or a tenant? With summer coming to a close, it’s important to remember that, unless the tenant is responsible for providing heat to a residential rental unit, the landlord is obligated to ensure certain temperature minimums are met from September 15th through June 15th. During these months, every habitable room, and every room containing a toilet, shower, or bathtub, must be heated to at least 68ºF between 7:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. and at least 64ºF between 11:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M., though the temperature should not be higher than 78ºF at any time.

Even if the tenant is responsible for providing heat, the landlord still has to provide operational heating facilities that can meet the requirements described above. A number of types of space heaters are prohibited by the State Sanitary Code (see 105 C.M.R. 410.200), and any space heaters that are allowed (except electrical space heaters) must be properly vented to a chimney or other outdoor vent.

If you have any questions about your responsibilities as a landlord or tenant, contact me at mgove@govelawoffice.com or 413-570-3170.