I live in a 750 square foot apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Per the lease agreement, my roommate and I signed to pay the heat separate from the rent. The first gas bill we received was $750, and the following gas bill was roughly the same amount. We knew that the price of gas was expensive, but for two people who make great pains to use the heat only when absolutely necessary, and occasionally use the stove to boil a pot of water, this seemed ridiculous. For all of 2007, we owe roughly $2000 in gas costs.
The gas company inspected our boiler; we were told that it was inefficient and outdated, and that our boiler, though supposedly hooked up to meters separate from the rest of the building, used to heat the entire building.
We brought the matter to our landlord, even showing him the graph provided by the gas company that demonstrates that we are paying triple that of the average customer in our area. When we asked him to compensate us for half of what we owe, he laughed in our face and refused.
Does Consumerist or any of its readers know – do we have any form of recourse? Are there rules and regulations concerning the standards by which a boiler must run at? Are there rules and regulations concerning the repairs a landlord must make on a utility that is paid for by the tenant?
Also, my advice to anyone considering entering a rental agreement where the cost of heat is not included in the rent – don’t do it.
Thank You for Reading,