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From the Forum – Limited Supply of Hot Water/Short Shower Issues

by Prince Of Petworth March 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm 22 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Jim Havard

Limited Supply of Hot Water/Short Shower Issues:

“We just moved into a new building in Shaw (Jefferson Marketplace) and are having an issue with our hot water. We live in a two bedroom, two bath apartment with a washer/dryer and dishwasher. Each unit apparently has its own hot water heater, and the installed system only has enough hot water for a single short shower (under 5 minutes) before losing temperature. The system will recharge with enough hot water for another short shower after 30-45 minutes. There’s not nearly enough hot water in the system to run the dishwasher or washer at the same time as a shower – but that’s more than what I am requesting. I just want a normal length shower and for both me and my fiancee to be able to get ready around the same time in the morning.

The maintenance supervisor has come and raised the temperature of the water heater 3 times already but, both he and the property manager live in the building and acknowledge the problem and have said the entire building is dealing with this. However, the property manager has said that the units passed inspection with the water heater units installed and that “once the weather breaks, the water coming into the building will be at a warmer temperature aiding in the duration of hot water.” I’m not optimistic that the management company will be doing anything to fix the problem.

What is our recourse for this situation? My understanding is that, under DC landlord/tenant law, landlords must provide tenants with “reasonable amounts of hot water.” This clearly doesn’t seem reasonable to me. If we are entitled to a rent abatement, great, but I really just want this fixed. Having just moved, we’d really not want to move again so quickly. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!”

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