Since the beginning of the year in Chicago, temperatures have been dropping into the negatives, leaving residents scrambling for ways to stay warm. However, personal injuries attorneys are seeing cases pop up of landlords who are not properly heating apartments for their tenants.  Find out what you can do to make sure your apartment is properly heated and that your landlord is following the law for heat requirements:

How to stay warm in your apartment

  1. Make sure all cracks and openings block air from escaping. For windows or doors, roll up an old blanket or towel to prevent warm air from y
    our heater from escaping. Alternatively, you can use trash bags to pad the area from leaking air and use strong tape to secure them.
  2. Move furniture away from vents. When furniture, especially large, bulky items, are near heated areas, they can block out heat from circulating around the area.
  3. Try a personal space heater. These are great for heating a single small area instead of having to warm up the entire apartment or house. Be alert, though, to when the heater is on. Always turn off space heaters when you are not home or monitoring them as to prevent a fire.  
  4. Close any rooms that are not being used. Don’t go in the dining room as much as you do the living room, kitchen or bedroom? Close the doors. This will make sure heat circulates to the more frequently-used rooms.
  5. Wear multiple layers of clothing. Extra sweaters, socks and pairs of pants can all ensure you stay warm enough during the winter months.

 

warm-apartments-during-winter
Photo Credit: NBC Chicago

Landlords’ requirements to make sure you stay warm

Chicago requires that landlords keep apartments adequately heated, and if your apartment is not being properly heated, a Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you receive the justice you deserve. Many apartments and houses come equipped with free radiator heat, but what if yours doesn’t? From September 15 through June 1, your landlords are required by law to keep your apartment at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. and 66 degrees from 10:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. If landlords aren’t abiding, they could be subject to penalties by law, as well as cases from personal injuries attorneys, if the cold results in bodily harm.

Do you think your landlord is not fulfilling his or her responsibility to keep your apartment or home warm? First, contact city officials to report your landlord. If you’ve been injured by the cold, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer to make sure your case is properly represented.

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