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Northwestern Off-Campus Life

Modified: January 13, 2016
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The Northwestern Off-Campus Life office would like to welcome back graduate students for winter quarter! Our office is committed to helping you understand your rights and responsibilities as members of the Evanston and Chicago communities.

Now that temperatures have begun to drop and winter is upon us, you may be wondering about the policies regulating centrally-controlled heat in apartment buildings and the rental unit temperature standards in the cities of Evanston and Chicago:

In Evanston, every landlord that furnishes heat for tenants must maintain minimum room temperatures of 68° Fahrenheit (20° Celsius) from September 15th to June 1st.  Temperatures must be taken three feet from an exterior wall and three feet above the floor.  To ensure the proper flow of heat, make sure your storm windows are closed, radiators/vents are in the open position, and furniture does not block radiators and vents.

Space heaters, whether portable or permanently installed, shall not be utilized as the primary source of heat in any room.  Renters experiencing cold conditions should contact the Building & Inspections Services Division at 311 or 847-448-4311, between 8am and 5pm Monday-Friday.

In Chicago, the same rules for Evanston apply during the daytime, but the temperature is permitted to fall to 66° Fahrenheit (18.9° Celsius) at night between 10:30pm and 8:30am.  Landlords face fines of up to $500 per day, per violation, for each day they do not supply adequate heat.  If your landlord is providing inadequate heat or not providing any heat at all, please contact 311 to file a complaint.  The Department of Buildings will inspect your unit and take action against delinquent owners.
Please feel free to contact the Off-Campus Life office at 847-491-8430 or offcampuslife@northwestern.edu if you have any issues or concerns regarding your living situation!     

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