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  1. #1

    Default Housing Regulations at a Public University

    My question involves education law in the State of: Florida

    I am a resident who lives on a public Florida college campus in a dorm. Ever since the past few weeks when winter has set in and temperatures have fallen, the hot water in the building has gotten significantly lower to the point where one doesn't want to shower.

    I've contacted housing officials at the highest level by e-mail with the problem as well as detailed explanations (times most problematic, etc.)

    Housing officials have ignored the issue until I kept e-mailing, and eventually gave me generic responses such as "there is no problem...the flow rates are set to student and staff Housing Heating standards for safety...blah blah..."

    In the past when I have had issues with the climate inside the building, it took me hoops and leaps to get actual maintenance work done.

    I've done some research into Florida Building Code which looks like the university must comply with and there is specific regulations pertaining to the way hot water must work inside buildings.

    As far as the temperature of the water goes, it is around 99F to 100F on average.

    I've made Public Records request under F.S. Chapter 119 to see the official "Housing Heating Standards" the department here claims that limits what the current conditions are for the hot water system. So far my request has been ignored even with my threat of filing a complaint with the Attorney General's office in Florida if the request is ignored.

    I feel as if the maintenance department within housing is just making things up to get me to stop with my requests despite the fact that there really is a problem.

    It seems so simple to fix this problem, either insulate pipes, increase water temperature, or check the domestic hot water heaters...none of which the housing department wants to consider.

    I find it odd how they claim student and staff safety for not making adjustments to the hot water if according to their "standards" that every other building has hot water that is consistently hot and much hotter (burning hot) than the one I have access to...

    Are there any legal tools or methods I can use to get this issue going? It's a state ran school, is there anything the Board of Governors can do? Any officials at the University that oversights departments within the University?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Housing Regulations at a Public University

    Your link doesn't work; however, it's safe to say that your dorm passed an inspection under the building code many years ago.

    This is also complicated by the fact that they do provide hot water - it's just not as hot as you would like. Florida statutes don't appear to define what constitutes "hot" water; it's possible that a local ordinance provides a definition. Also, prevention of scald injuries is a valid concern when setting water temperature.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Housing Regulations at a Public University

    Thanks for your reply. I actually did check the local municipal code and discovered that in the housing code that water must be at at least 110 F.

    I cited this when I made the maintenance request, but I''m not sure if its enforcable. I called the City Code Enforcement Office and they said that the University is state property and not in the jurisdiction to enforce local municipal code.

    If that is the case, does that mean all local ordiances in the campus are non enforcable by the City?

    Did the city misinform me?


    Interestingly enough the day after I posted this, the water temperature signigicantly increased, so much that I had to mix with cold water to keep the temperature calm.

    It has been nearly a month since the time when I originally lodged my complaint, so mayble they finally did something.

    As far was it not being as hot as I want it to be, the temperature was relatively colder compared to the temperature of just about every other dorm and when I measured it to be on average 99F to 100F, it confirmed the differences among all the other buildings.

    Temperatures at night range from 30 to 40 degrees on average and when one cant take a hot shower, you can imagine how difficult it is to live in such an environment...


    I'm still curious to know what legal courses are available to me if future problems happen here...

    It seems like schools and Universities in general have a lot of legal abnormalities since Florida Statutes l Education Code basically lets them setup whatever "rules", they want as long as the BoG approves and they don't conflict with existing laws. almost as if you walk into a different State.

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