My boyfriend and I live above one of your favorite South Philly brunch spots. We've been there about 3 months now but we travel a lot and haven't been home many weekends.
We've had some strange inconsistencies with our hot water during the week and recently discovered that we don't have hot water at all during the day on Saturday & Sunday. We spoke to our neighbors who said the landlord and his agent eventually admitted to them that the hot water heaters for our apartments are shared with the restaurant below. I complained to the landlords agent without mentioning the conversation I had with our neighbors. She responded to me with the following voicemail:
"There is one hot water tank for the entire building. And the tenants do not pay for the hot water, the owner does. And on Friday Saturday and Sunday especially around 3 to 5, the restaurant uses most of the hot water. So its best not to shower around that time."
This problem doesn't start at 3pm. It starts at 10am. There was NO mention of this when we looked at the apartment. There is no mention of this in our lease. And they don't use most of the hot water. They use all of it. I'm actually concerned that they're washing dishes with cold water.
I spoke to her after the voicemail and explained that this was not something we agreed to, and that after my football games and long runs on the weekends I can not be expected to avoid showering or boil my own hot water to shower. I pay my rent on time and in full. This is unreasonable.
I've read most sites that say the hot water is considered a requirement for a habitable apartment. I just want to know what kind of language I can use and what rights I have to terminate the lease (which I'd prefer not to have to do because moving sucks) or withhold rent (which sounds like a bad idea based on other posts.) We're stuck in this thing until the end of June right now but I think omitting that kind of information seems like it could be cause for terminating the lease early.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! I play in a winter football league and I look forward to a hot shower to get feeling back in my fingers!