Tonight I came home from a messy day's work and had to take a cold shower. Again. Because there was no hot water. Again. I'd like hot water. I really don't want to move. What are my options?
Posting anonymously so I can comfortably disclose that I live in Central Massachusetts, USA, and I am embarrassed about this problem. I'll explain the circumstances and follow it with my feelings about the whole thing. I'll gratefully accept feedback on either aspect, especially What can I do??
We lose hot water one day every two months on average, though we have had to live with cold water only for two and three days in a row on separate occasions. Sometimes the water is hot but not really hot enough: 100 degrees when I believe MA landlords are required to provide water at at least 110.
The landlord is an accessible enough guy who responds reasonably quickly to fix it when the hot water goes out... And, I made the mistake of not documenting these occurrences. We've been patient and tried to give him the benefit of the doubt when he offered explanations like he was upgrading the oil tank size (?) and, recently, switching from oil to gas.
The hot water issue isn't the only problem. Heat is included in our rent but it's October 5 now and still no heat. Snow removal is also sketchy. His hired help doesn't shovel the long-ish walkway until, usually, 3PM. And, when there's snow in the forecast we have to remind the landlord to send a plow because otherwise my car stays snowed in until *whenever* and, you know, I have to get to work.
There are other petty kinds of issues as well.
But, here comes the feeling bits: I feel like a spoiled brat complaining about these problems because, obviously, we're not the only people in the world that can't summon 110 degree water (or hotter) on demand from our faucet. I'm awesome at shoveling snow, so even if snow removal is supposed to be included in our $1000/month/2BR rent, nothing's stopping me from DIY "plowing". We don't want to move because the expense of moving would be a real setback, and can't we rectify this?? Plus we've made a cozy home for ourselves; my partner walks to work. We have one car and I have a quick and lovely commute.
The landlord has reasons and excuses and some kinds of explanations for the hot water thing. My guess is that the guy maybe inherited his real estate business and he's just not good at it! But, as I take ice cold birdbaths I imagine him to be more of a malicious slumlord jerkface (see: Hanlon's razor
If I must move in order to be in a place where I might reliably get hot water, could I still seek justice with regard to this landlord, maybe warning future tenants about him? Given that I don't have a ton of money, is there anything I can do to fight for/protect my rights as a renter?
I'm hoping the guy will give us a key and some instructions for fixing the water problem on our own, and maybe letting me be his hired help when it comes to shoveling snow, and maybe I can even be a point of contact for his plow guy. But, my optimism is kind of killing me. /dramatics.
BTW There's no apartment manager. The landlord is it.