Shouldn't my apartment have hot water and heat?

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Question:

I live in an apartment and for the past month, I've had hot water only every few days. I can't shower for work or do dishes. Also, my heat isn't working. It's okay in the day, but at night it gets really cold and is still really cold when I wake up and have to take a cold shower. The landlords keep stonewalling me and telling me they will get these things fixed, but it never happens; they won't even give me the number to their corporate headquarters. Do I have any rights?

Answer:

You are entitled to a habitable place to live, which means that you can expect basic services, such as heat and hot water. If you don't get them, after repeated requests and waiting a reasonable time for action, get in touch with your local health department and ask them to send out an inspector.

Your landlords' failure to maintain the property is undoubtedly a violation of one of the local or state codes, and the health department officials can write them up for it and insist that they take care of business.

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