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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:33 PM   #1
bigMAC28
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To the people with knowledge of Chicago Apartment Laws:

I am currently going through a deal with my landlord. The furnace has been acting up and is blowing cold air. About 3 days ago we got our Gas Bill from Peoples gas. IT WAS 200 DOLLARS! So we called the landlord to come fix our Furnace. About 2-3 weeks ago they came and replaced our thermostat becuase it wasnt working. It turns out that the guy that they had install it did it wrong and somehow it ended up where the AC runs while the Furnace is on.( found that out just now)

My question is, Is the Landlord Liable for the gas bill since they put the thermostat in wrong?
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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I am currently going through a deal with my landlord. The furnace has been acting up and is blowing cold air. About 3 days ago we got our Gas Bill from Peoples gas. IT WAS 200 DOLLARS! So we called the landlord to come fix our Furnace. About 2-3 weeks ago they came and replaced our thermostat becuase it wasnt working. It turns out that the guy that they had install it did it wrong and somehow it ended up where the AC runs while the Furnace is on.( found that out just now)

My question is, Is the Landlord Liable for the gas bill since they put the thermostat in wrong?
No, but you could probably pass it off to the company who did the actual repair of it. Either way, it sucks and will probably be a headache. I'd call your landlord 1st and see what they say, but then go after the actual company who did it.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 04:58 PM   #3
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No, but you could probably pass it off to the company who did the actual repair of it. Either way, it sucks and will probably be a headache. I'd call your landlord 1st and see what they say, but then go after the actual company who did it.
The Person that did it is an employee of the landlord company.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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The bad news: there's a good likelihood that the burden of proof will be on you to show that the improper installation of the thermostat was definitely the reason for your high gas bill.

The good news: you need to talk to the gas company. There's a chance you can get them on your side in this fight.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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The bad news: there's a good likelihood that the burden of proof will be on you to show that the improper installation of the thermostat was definitely the reason for your high gas bill.

The good news: you need to talk to the gas company. There's a chance you can get them on your side in this fight.
Even though the repair man that they hired said that it was there fault?
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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Even though the repair man that they hired said that it was there fault?
If it were that simple, you would only need to ask him to pay your gas bill - problem solved.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 06:50 PM   #7
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The Person that did it is an employee of the landlord company.
It sounds like you have a pretty good case on your hands. Unfortunately it will probably take a lot of time to prove and might not even be worth your time. I don't know the financial situation, but for me the amount of time I'd have to dedicate to it wouldn't be worth 200 bucks to me. I'd call them and at least ask, but if it sounds like its going to be a hassle I'd just drop it.

Where do you live? If its in an area like River North or Gold Coast you might get lucky and get some good service seeing as those are nicer areas.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:21 PM   #8
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If everything the others have suggested fails, just let it go.

Write a Yelp! review and rant about your situation!
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:00 AM   #9
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what is your normal gas bill, when your rent is due, pay minus the difference in the gas bill, show them the written proof from their second repairman that the fault lies in the bad first installation and your history of normal gas bill.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 08:41 AM   #10
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what is your normal gas bill, when your rent is due, pay minus the difference in the gas bill, show them the written proof from their second repairman that the fault lies in the bad first installation and your history of normal gas bill.
I don't think I would do that, because the management company can send it to collections and then it can impact your credit which can be a mess to deal with. Also, when the OP decides to move and they call for a reference of where he last lived, they might say he didn't pay his full rent on time. It'd be better to keep up on payments and then deal with it independently of any rent or other bills he may have.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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It sounds like you have a pretty good case on your hands. Unfortunately it will probably take a lot of time to prove and might not even be worth your time. I don't know the financial situation, but for me the amount of time I'd have to dedicate to it wouldn't be worth 200 bucks to me. I'd call them and at least ask, but if it sounds like its going to be a hassle I'd just drop it.

Where do you live? If its in an area like River North or Gold Coast you might get lucky and get some good service seeing as those are nicer areas.
I live in lakeview. Sheffield an Wellington area. The furnace broke again last night and it was down to 58 degrees in our apartment this morning. We called at 930 and they didn't send anyone out. We called again at 12 and they should be here from 1:30 to 2:00. If not we are reporting them to the city. It's a good thing we have a fireplace because that's the only thing keeping us from freezing.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:06 PM   #12
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Yeah at this point I would definitely raise some hell with someone. Not really for the 200 bucks, but more just to let them know I'm not happy
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 10:38 PM   #13
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Yeah at this point I would definitely raise some hell with someone. Not really for the 200 bucks, but more just to let them know I'm not happy
Yeah I just did. They came and "fixed" the furnace today around 2pm and left around 4 said that it should be fixed and that there was a part that needs to be replaced but it is not essential. I came home from work at 7 and the apartment was at 58 degrees while the thermostat was set on 78. I then called the Landlord company and left a very angry message. Then I called 311 and they said to speak to a lawyer about what to do tonight. SO then i called my 2nd cousin in law(?) who was a lawyer for Obama while he was in the senate, and he said to document everything and go to a hotel. THEN, the landlord called me and started yelling at me because "She didn't like my tone" . Then we got into a Yelling Argument for the next 30 minutes based on a he said she said BS. So now im sitting in the Hampton Inn down town.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 08:07 AM   #14
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Yeah I just did. They came and "fixed" the furnace today around 2pm and left around 4 said that it should be fixed and that there was a part that needs to be replaced but it is not essential. I came home from work at 7 and the apartment was at 58 degrees while the thermostat was set on 78. I then called the Landlord company and left a very angry message. Then I called 311 and they said to speak to a lawyer about what to do tonight. SO then i called my 2nd cousin in law(?) who was a lawyer for Obama while he was in the senate, and he said to document everything and go to a hotel. THEN, the landlord called me and started yelling at me because "She didn't like my tone" . Then we got into a Yelling Argument for the next 30 minutes based on a he said she said BS. So now im sitting in the Hampton Inn down town.
Which management company? Haha, I will definitely tell all friends to steer clear of it!

That definitely sucks, I would be upset. I probably wouldn't have gotten into a shouting match, but can understand your frustration.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:10 AM   #15
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Which management company? Haha, I will definitely tell all friends to steer clear of it!

That definitely sucks, I would be upset. I probably wouldn't have gotten into a shouting match, but can understand your frustration.
Heres the link to my yelp review. http://www.yelp.com/biz/surf-development-corporation-chicago#hridUfIPoGM01saFsz1SC7mhA
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:42 AM   #16
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Nice, I mean honestly thats your best angle for revenge. Like they say, a good exp people never share, but a bad one they will tell everyone they know. I would just keep telling people how much they suck.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:33 PM   #17
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(I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.)

I don't know about Chicago but a wee bit north of you (hello from Madison!), an apartment must be able to maintain 67 degrees.

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ATCP 134.04(2)(b)2
Heating facilities serving the dwelling unit are not in safe operating condition, or are not capable of maintaining a temperature , in all living areas of the dwelling unit, of at least 67 F (19 C) during all seasons of the year in which the dwelling unit may be occupied. Temperatures in living areas shall be measured at the approximate center of the room, midway between floor and ceiling.
I'd be surprised to learn Chicago does not have a similar rule. Ask your counsel about it and what your recourse is. There may be a time frame for your landlord to make a "reasonable effort" to have your heat restored. Another option you may (or may not have) is "self help" in which you hire someone to fix your heating and forward the bill to the landlord in the form of deducting it from your rent. Do not do that unless you consult with a lawyer and see if it is even an option.

What I would not do is get in another shouting match with the landlord, because if it comes time to play hardball, they may use that as a grounds to evict you. Keep your cool and they lose.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 12:37 PM   #18
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It is what I would call a good review. Generally speaking I know when I am looking for a place I try to look for negative reviews as the positives ones are generally crap and worthless. The GOOD negative ones tend to show the red flags.
That is a very good negative one.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 01:58 PM   #19
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Chicago Tenants Rights

The Chicago Housing Code states that between September 15 and June 1 the temperature in your apartment should be at least:
65 degrees at 7:30 a.m.
68 degrees from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
63 degrees from 10:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.

http://www.tenant.net/Other_Areas/Il.../english3.html

Given Chicago and its regulations and taxation, I wonder if the person who changed the thermostat is required to be licensed.

Edited to add that Group Fox Property Management in Chicago gets five stars from a relative who lives in one of the apartments they manage.

Last edited by Aspasia; Jan 23, 2013 at 02:23 PM.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:44 PM   #20
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Given Chicago and its regulations and taxation, I wonder if the person who changed the thermostat is required to be licensed.
Thats interesting, I will do some research on that.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:26 PM   #21
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That's unfortunate to hear. In a place like Lakeview, you're either going to get top quality service, or just be paying top dollar for crappy service.

I lived in Rogers Park and then Lincoln Park. In LP, I went with a Reside apartment (http://resideliving.com/) and they were pretty great about things. I had a messed up radiator (it was actually too hot and then would burst water even if I didn't touch it after it was 'fixed' the first time) and they were super responsive.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 12:12 AM   #22
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That's unfortunate to hear. In a place like Lakeview, you're either going to get top quality service, or just be paying top dollar for crappy service.

I lived in Rogers Park and then Lincoln Park. In LP, I went with a Reside apartment (http://resideliving.com/) and they were pretty great about things. I had a messed up radiator (it was actually too hot and then would burst water even if I didn't touch it after it was 'fixed' the first time) and they were super responsive.
Those places look very nice, I got to DePaul and i have passed by a few of those buildings a few times. They are a little out of my price range however. I am trying to get my roommate to break the lease with me so we can get out of our current living arrangement with our 3rd roommate. It would be nice to have a landlord company with a website though...
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:11 AM   #23
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Those places look very nice, I got to DePaul and i have passed by a few of those buildings a few times. They are a little out of my price range however. I am trying to get my roommate to break the lease with me so we can get out of our current living arrangement with our 3rd roommate. It would be nice to have a landlord company with a website though...
Move to South Loop! I think my friend is selling her condo at the corner of Wells & Polk
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 10:41 AM   #24
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It would be nice to have a landlord company with a website though...
http://www.groupfox.com/
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