My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Ohio
I'm a landlord. My tenant contacted me about high energy usage. The root cause turned out to be a 'silent' failure of a component in the furnace that caused one of the heating elements to be on all of the time.
The only symptom of this was the energy use - the cooling worked (enough to actually provide cooling anyway), the heating worked - nothing appeared broken.
The terms of the lease say that the tenant is responsible for their energy bill, and the account is in their name.
The situation started in June, and I was contacted just this week (September). I immediately had the problem diagnosed and remedied.
The tenant is left with an enormous energy bill. They are looking for some relief.
I am trying to figure out how to handle this - the problem did arise from a failure in equipment that is my responsibility, but at the same time, I was not notified that a problem was occurring for many months.
So - who is responsible for the extra energy usage? Is it them? Is it me? Is it a bad idea to offer to split the amount?
Any help is appreciated.