We own an apartment in Jerusalem that is being rented out and all the tenants must pay for the heating costs throughout the winter. The tenants in the apartment decided to switch off the heating system. However, in order for the heating system not to break down it must be on at least once a year. That will cost my tenant 500 shekels for the year. He claims that he should not pay for it since it is my problem if I don’t want the heating system to break down.

What do you think?

Answer:

It seems that the cost will fall on the tenant.

In some buildings, tenants are given the option of switching off the heating system. In this case, however, the option of switching off entirely doesn’t apparently exist, because of the danger to the system. Because this option doesn’t exist, renting the apartment effectively goes together with using the heating system – to the effect of 500 shekels.

Since this is part of the ongoing use of the apartment, and it was clear (or could have been clear) at the time of rental that this is the case, the cost will fall on the tenant.

Best wishes.

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