Wisconsin’s Heating Requirements for Landlords: A Guide
Heating your home is probably the furthest thing from your mind during our pleasant summer days. But winter’s just around the corner, which means knowing your rights and your landlord’s responsibilities when keeping your residence warm and comfortable is front and center.
Wisconsin law requires your landlord to keep the heating system in proper working condition if you’re a renter in the greater Wausau-Rhinelander area. That includes ensuring the heat’s turned on by a specific day and that the equipment can maintain an interior temperature of at least 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The only exception is if you agreed to rent the property knowing heating and air conditioning would not be supplied.
Frasier’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has provided exceptional heating services to Northern Wisconsin residents, including renters, for over a century. Our friendly and professional team is here to ensure your home stays warm and cozy throughout our chilly winter months. We offer prompt repairs, maintenance, and expert advice to guarantee comfort and peace of mind.
Help, My Heat Is Off! What Do I Do?
After recording your home’s current temperature, the first and most essential thing to do is immediately contact your landlord or rental company. The sooner you do, the sooner the problem can be fixed. Under the law, your landlord must repair the heat within 24 hours.
If you report the issue to your landlord by phone, be sure to also contact them by email, text, or tenant portal. Creating a paper trail ensures there’s a clear record of the issue and your prompt reporting of it. This can be valuable if a dispute arises or legal action becomes necessary.
If your landlord doesn’t respond immediately or tells you it will take over 24 hours to fix the heater, you can contact the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to file a complaint.
Most importantly, if you have a heating emergency or smell gas, leave your home immediately and call your utility company. While you are not entitled under the law to withhold rent or deduct repairs, you could be eligible for rent abatement, particularly if your health or safety is at risk.
Wisconsin’s Heating Moratorium
Wisconsin’s moratorium on turning off a rental property’s heat runs from November 1 to April 15. However, if a tenant fails to pay their heating bill, the landlord is not responsible for turning the heating back on. Their only obligation is to ensure a tenant has access to heat that is a minimum of 67 degrees.
While state law prohibits utilities from disconnecting any residential property from heating services during the moratorium period, residents who’ve had their heating disconnected before November 1 should contact their local utility to arrange reconnection before that date.
A Landlord’s Heating Guide in Wisconsin
All Wisconsin landlords are required by law to provide a habitable living space to their tenants. Known as an “implied warranty of habitability,” this regulation covers everything from hot and cold water to sanitation, plumbing, and HVAC requirements for landlords. It also protects tenants’ rights when repairs aren’t made on time.
State statute 704.07(2)(a)2 requires Wausau landlords to maintain and repair all equipment under the landlord’s control that’s needed to provide services “the landlord has agreed to furnish to the tenant, such as heat…” In other words, it’s a landlord’s job to ensure the heat is working.
Why Choose Frasier’s?
Frasier’s offers friendly, quality HVAC services from NATE-certified technicians. Our heating solutions improve efficiency and help maintain a consistent indoor temperature during Northern Wisconsin’s colder months. We’re committed to providing the communities we serve with fast furnace repair or any other heating issue they might be experiencing.
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