Complaint Process if Renter has no Heat

When temperatures outside fall below 60 degrees for 24 consecutive hours, landlords in Cincinnati must provide a minimum temperature of 70 degrees inside rental units. Landlords who don’t comply can face fines up to $300 for the first day and $750 for each additional day they don’t supply heat. Landlords can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply with a Board of Health order to provide appropriate heating in their rental unit. This can include up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The reason for the lack of heat does not matter.

If you are struggling to get help from your landlord in Cincinnati, call 513-352-2908 to file a complaint. When filing a complaint, it’s important to share accurate contact information to set up an inspection of the rental unit. Individuals filing a complaint should expect a call from the Health Department within at least 72 hours to schedule an inspection. During the inspection, the Health Department inspectors will also give people tips on how to safely use space heaters, and remind renters to check smoke detectors and CO2 monitors.

The Cincinnati Health Department allows landlords to temporarily supply heat to a rental unit by providing occupants with space heaters while repairs or replacement of defective furnace, boiler, or other building heating apparatuses are being resolved. The space heaters must provide 70 degrees of heat within the renter’s living space. In lieu of space heaters, landlords may also offer tenants temporary housing, such as a short-term hotel stay.

Hamilton County renters outside the City of Cincinnati may file an online complaint with the Hamilton County Board of Health, or by calling 513-946-7800.

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