How long and what temperature before my pipes freeze

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by DebMcDonald, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. DebMcDonald

    DebMcDonald DIS Veteran

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    I have a rental house in CT that I am in the process of getting the tenants evicted from and as of yesterday the electricity got turned off for failure to pay. How long can a house sit cold before my pipes are in jeopordy. Last night was very cold about 13 degrees and by this weekend we will be in the 50's. There is also no oil in the tank as they ran out of that in January and bounced their check, so can't get more, and until yesterday was heating the house with the stove and electric heaters.

    I'm at my wits end and every day this just gets worse and worse and from a legal standpoint my hands are tied, but my house is in jeopordy.

    Any opinions appreciated!
     
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  3. Pooh_Friend#1

    Pooh_Friend#1 <font color=blue>Check out my year round tan!</fon

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    Hopefully they will be smart enough to let the faucet drip and open the cabinets. If I do not open the cabinets and let the faucet drip, my pipes freeze when it gets to single digit temperatures for a couple of days and then takes a day to thaw out. My only pipes that freeze are the ones that are on the outside wall.
     
  4. Jeff_G

    Jeff_G Mouseketeer

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    If they still have water running, ask them to open a facet at night and allow a small dribble of watter out, it needs to be more then a drip but not a lot.

    I have heard other suggest paying the tenant to move out, some say it ends up cheaper then eviction and you get them out quicker and on your terms. Give them 1 week, if you are out by next Friday (you would need to visit the rental to verify) you pay them $xyz.
     
  5. DebMcDonald

    DebMcDonald DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, but it's too late to pay them, the leasee moved out and left her son behind and we're in the middle already of the court battle which is costing $$$.

    They won't answer their phone, email, etc. so I don't think they will even consider letting the water drip and I can't go into the house - no matter what - as per my attorney, even if the house is burning down, you do not have permission to go into that house.
     
  6. philm

    philm Earning My Ears

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    The only thing you can do then is sue for damages when they leave. But document everything, and take pictures when you regain access to the property.
     
  7. mtblujeans

    mtblujeans DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure a dripping faucet will keep pipes from freezing when the heat is off. And it won't take long for water sitting in pipes to freeze. I agree with the PP to document everything. If the pipes in the walls had water in them, you could have a bad situation already forming. I hope it works out well for you. :goodvibes
     
  8. Muushka

    Muushka <font color=red>I usually feel like I just stepped

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    Back in the day when I lived in the frozen tundra called New England, we experienced pipes freezing. It was down to -10 (no wind chill factor, actual temp) with a high of -2 for the day. Yup, they froze. Good luck!

    PS these pipes of mine that froze were the heating system that went through a cabinet. It depends on where the pipes are located. Good luck!
     
  9. msmayor

    msmayor Finding my beach...

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    You are in a situation right now where I don't think you have any choice but to pay whatever it will cost to get the power back on and heat in the house. Not for your tenants, but for your own protection, because unless you have a pot of money to pay for repairs out of pocket, you could find yourself with a denied insurance claim.

    If your homeowner's insurance finds out that you knew there was no heat and power in your home and you did nothing to rectify the situation, they can deny a claim for damages if something happens.

    This doesn't mean you can't continue the eviction process...it means you are protecting your asset.

    You can still sue the tenants for what you are paying to get the heat and power back on, but at least you are doing all you can to make sure nothing happens.
     
  10. hipchickie

    hipchickie counting the days

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    It really depends on the house - in our old house, a cold night with the heat set back and our pipes would freeze. In our new house, our furnace recently went and we had no heat for 2 - 3 days and had no issues.

    Anyway, just because they didn't pay the oil bill doesn't mean your can't get oil - just call a new oil company

    good luck
     
  11. DebMcDonald

    DebMcDonald DIS Veteran

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    When you don't live in a house, you don't have typical home ower's insurance for that house, you have what's called a fire policy, so if the house burns down I am covered or if someone slips and fall's I'm covered, but for water damange, vandilism, etc. I'm not covered anyway.

    Over my dead body :headache: am I going to pay for their electricity to be turned on when they have written checks on closed accounts, and currently owe me $5500 not including what I have paid for my attorney and honestly I have no idea who is even living there, because the original tenant moved out. If they can't pay the electricity, maybe then this will be the straw that forces them out.

    And regarding suing them, you can't get blood out of a stone, so that would be more money out of my pocket for NOTHING in return.
     
  12. LoveBWVVBR

    LoveBWVVBR DIS Veteran

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    UGH, I am so sorry. You are really between a rock and a hard place right now. How long will it take you to get them out? In FL eviction is very quick and straightforward, but back when I lived in MA my former boss had been going to court for 2 YEARS to get the deadbeat, non-paying tenants out of his townhouse:sad2:

    How can these people be living in your house with no heat anyways? Are you worried that they will do something very dumb that will result in either carbon monoxide poisoning or burning your house down? I'd be worried about that...maybe worried enough to get the electric turned back on.
     
  13. angwill

    angwill I just want to live at WDW!

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    We had our pipes burst while on vacation one year when our oil company forgot to fill our oil tank. It ended up being a pipe on an inside wall from our upper floor that burst and did a lot of damage. From what the plumber told us there should be no problem if it warms up slowly. Ours burst when we got the heat going and it warmed the pipe up too quickly.

    That really stinks that this is happening to you. Sadly, lots of people are out of work and doing desperate things to have a roof over their heads. I hope you can get the utilities back when they are out without having to pay for their past balance.
     
  14. msmayor

    msmayor Finding my beach...

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    I would re-read your policy to make sure. Some policies today include more than just fire damage protection.

    Regardless, I cannot believe that you would simply permit that risk to remain. The damage and costs to you could be significant and as you said, you may not ever be able to collect from the tenants.

    Is it really worth the risk of extensive damage to your house to "hope" that the lack of heat and power will get them out faster - damage you will have to pay to fix? Suppose they end up causing a fire at the house by heating with the stove and again, the scenario I present regarding the insurance: you KNEW they had no heat and didn't do anything to ensure a safe condition, and the house burns down from the stove being used for heat. Your insurance company has a reason for denying any claim.

    Maybe its worth the risk to you. It wouldn't be to me.
     
  15. Mixie

    Mixie Mouseketeer

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    If the home is on well water, electricity is required to run the pump. No electric, no water.

    The home is an investment. I suggest you do something to restore heat to it asap. Those pipes will burst quickly in CT with no heat.
     
  16. dfchelbay

    dfchelbay DIS Veteran

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    Cant you call the city and have the water shut off? Then, there will be no water in the pipes to freeze. If you live close by, go over to the house after you've shut the water off and turn on an outside spiget to let the last bit of water out of the pipes, and leave it open. Hopefully, there will be such a small amount behind in the pipes that if it freezes and expands, it wont be enough to burst the pipes.
     
  17. mickeysmyboy

    mickeysmyboy <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    I really have no advice for you but I wanted to say I'm so sorry!!! my In laws own a few rental properties and have a string of terrible tenants!! They spent a fortune evicting people from one house and then spent more $$ fixing damage that had been done to the house by the tenants! Now they have deadbeats living in the house again!!! It's complete bull!!
     
  18. Singledad

    Singledad DIS Veteran

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    I second dfchelbay's advice. with no heat and no electric, there should be no water either. no water in the pipes to expand when frozen and you should be fine. I just don't understand how someone you don't even know can stay on your property... isn't that criminal tresspassing? If they are not on the lease, they are not the renters. at least that was my layman understanding, as a renter.
     
  19. MEM

    MEM DIS Veteran

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    Maybe this is specific to CT, but I live in MA and the landlord is allowed to enter the property if he/she has just cause to do so - in your situation it might not be safe since you don't know for sure who is living there. If the original renter moved out and isn't paying her rent, she cannot give anyone permission to stay there, it doesn't matter if its her son...isn't that "squatting" or like a PP said, "criminal trespass"? Have you spoken to the police about it?
    I don't have a lot of faith in most attorneys.
     
  20. dfchelbay

    dfchelbay DIS Veteran

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    Can you call the police because he's a trespasser. Your lease is with his mother...never him. Have him dragged out of your house. Or, at the risk of being nasty, have a couple guys go in there and pack his crap up and escort him out. You have no contract with him. Pay for 1-2 months of storage, give him the keys to it and have the men take him and his belongings there...change the locks.
     
  21. DebMcDonald

    DebMcDonald DIS Veteran

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    You all make me smile :goodvibes and thanks for the thoughts. The police won't get involved because it's a "civil" matter that needs to be taken up with the courts. This person, who we assume is her son, is referred to as a squatter and I have to go to court and legally take the house back. Now my father tells me on a daily basis to just go and change the locks (he's not even using a key, just leaves the front door unlocked - with his computer sitting in the living room to boot), but if I do that I risk being taken to court myself, so I'm trying to follow to rules, and the rules are breaking me down.

    To Msmayor: Let me know when you have a law degree or when you are an insurance underwriter reveiwing my claim because you are great at pointing the figure at what is right vs. what is wrong, but I'm following the advice of the professionals. Thanks everyone else for the support and just listening.
     

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