Menands complains of frozen pipes.

I have a large 4 family house (Two big apartments divided in half) that I have owned for a long time. I have never had pipes freeze before. I have no experience with this problem. What to do ? (I answered this call on the phone)
Mac says: First, determine if any of the pipes have burst. If they have, turn off the water supply before you begin to thaw the frozen area. You can do this with heat tape, hair dryer or a space heater with a blower on it. Do NOT use a blow torch or a heat gun. Once the pipes have thawed, repair the burst portion if necessary. Turn the water back on. Next determine why the pipe froze. Since it has not happened to you before in this building, a little detective work may be necessary. Chances are a tenant left a door or window open and does not want to admit it, if that’s the case, warn all the tenants to be more careful. Other causes could be a foundation crack near the pipes. Check that before contacting the tenants.

Colonie has a heat problem.

She says: I have a three family house with one boiler to heat the whole building. I keep the thermostat set at 70 degrees. The radiators are sized properly and all three apts. stay at 70. The bottom floor tenant wants it much warmer. The other tenants absolutely DO NOT want it above 70. I told her to get some electric radiators to supplement the heat. She wants me to buy the space heaters and pay for the additional electric they use. We are at an impasse, What to do ?

Mac says: If she is otherwise a good tenant, offer to buy the space heaters, DO NOT under any circumstances, agree to pay a portion of her electric bill, you will regret it. Tell her it’s a good offer and that is the best you will do.

You might remind the tenant that she would be more comfortable if she closed drapes and pulled down shades at night to block the cold emanating from the windows. Conversely, she should open the drapes and shades when the sun comes up. That is presuming that she is not doing this.
Happy New Year to everyone. Let’s hope 2021 is a better year for landlords.
See you next month. Keep those questions coming. However, remember I don’t do legal advice. There are questions about our rights and responsibilities that need to be answered, This is uncharted territory and some of the questions have no answers at this point.