According to the Philadelphia Housing Code, tenants are entitled to 68 degrees of continuous heat, day and night, between October 1st and April 30th. Heat is also required for any days in September and May when the outside temperature is below 60 degrees [Philadelphia Code PM-406.2.1] pdfpdf-icon. Take frequent temperature readings 3 feet from the floor and 3 feet from the nearest wall and write down the information as documentation.

Don’t wait until it gets cold to find out whether your heater is working.

Turn up your heat now for a few minutes to make sure it comes on. If you are a tenant, ask your landlord to check your heating system to make sure it is operable. Each year the following should be done:

  • Steam heaters need to be checked for proper water level in tubing glass
  • Gas hot air heaters should have filters changed
  • Gas hot water boilers should have all radiators bled
  • Oil hot water heaters should have the electric motors primed and cleaned
  • Oil hot air heaters should have the motors primed, filters changed also cleaned

Being without heat is dangerous!

Detached electrical space heaters are not safe or adequate as primary heaters. Using ovens and stoves as heaters causes fatal fires every year [Read more information about heaters].

If you lack heat, call the Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections at 311 and arrange for an inspection.  Ask L&I to get an injunction against your landlord if the heater is not promptly repaired.

To get a free copy of any outstanding code violations on your property visit the Department of Licenses & Inspections at 1401 JFK Blvd. Philadelphia, PA

Intentional failure to provide heat is a criminal act. If you believe your landlord is knowingly depriving you of heat you should also call the police at 911 and let them know that the Anti-lockout Ordinance has been violated by your landlord.  This Philadelphia ordinance prevents a landlord from interfering with your utilities.