YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There have been some cold nights recently. Some of you have turned the heat back on, but some renters say their heat has been turned off by their landlord.

Community Legal Aid in Youngstown handles cases every year where there’s no heat in an apartment or unit home that’s rented. Attorney Patti Dougan said it is usually because the furnace is broken.

Ohio law is clear for landlords. Ohio Revised Code 5321.0 says that all heating, fixtures and appliances must be maintained in good and safe working order.

Youngstown Codified Ordinance 546.04 goes a bit further stating that from October 1 to April 30, a temperature of not less than 68 degrees needs to be maintained in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.

If it’s not, you have to tell the landlord. Call first but also send a message.

“You have to give the landlord notice to make the repair. And in general, it’s required that you give it to them in writing,” Dougan said.

Legal opinions say that can be a text or written on a piece of paper to the person or place rent is paid.
Before you fire off that message, the law says your rent has to be current.

“The landlord then has a reasonable amount of time to make whatever that repair is, but it can’t be any longer than 30 days,” Dougan said.

If the tenant is not able to maintain that 68 degree temperature in Youngstown, they have a cause of action against the landlord. Local ordinances may not have specifics like Youngstown, but the fallback is the Ohio Revised Code.

“It’s clear about what steps the tenant should take and it’s clear about what the landlord’s responsibilities are,” Dougan said.

Community Legal Aid is also available to help if you’re eligible. You can call them at their office in downtown Youngstown at (330) 744-3196 or (866) 584-2350 or email at info@communitylegalaid.org.