I rented a room from a landlord in which he explicitly provided, though not in writing, a microwave, a fridge, and a heater. It is winter and he told me that the room is cold - it is.

The landlord has now rented via Airbnb a different room (I've stayed there prior). The guest today told me that once the heat is turned on, the electricity upstairs - it is a duplex - is shut off. This is the second time this is happening. Once, I turned on the microwave and the power went out, although the guest quasi-apologize spoke to me today to tell me about the power going out once he plugged in the heater.

No more conversation transpired with the renter. I returned today to find the heater in the room I rent, gone, in place a blanket. My things are still in the room, what is a legal recourse? This is the mid-Atlantic US on a one month lease with several weeks to go.

  • 1
    For a one-month lease you'll have to figure out whether the arrangement falls under the state's landlord and tenant law (probably not, but possibly). You probably need to talk to a lawyer for that, and it's probably not worthwhile because your more likely avenue is to complain to Airbnb that the property is not adequately heated.
    – phoog
    Mar 7 at 11:28
  • THE first rental is an Airbnb this room is outside of Airbnb - I rented a room, the landlord made a second room available for a one month rent, this rent is executed outside Airbnb independently
    – BOJ
    Mar 7 at 13:52
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    One thing to keep in mind is that a landlord usually has the right to enter without notice in an emergency. Power failures, especially when possibly caused by overloaded circuits, would count. Mar 7 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


From your description, this is his heater and not yours, so he has a right to retrieve his property. Assuming that this is in Maryland, the landlord can probably enter to retrieve his property, though that depends on the county. In Delaware, though, "The landlord shall not abuse this right of access nor use it to harass a tenant. The landlord shall give the tenant at least 48 hours’ notice of landlord’s intent to enter, except for repairs requested by the tenant, and shall enter only between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m". It's unclear whether you acted in a fashion that could reasonably be construed as requesting a solution. The only legal limit on the landlord retrieving his property pertains to the notice requirement, which depends on jurisdiction and other facts.

  • "has a right to retrieve his property" perhaps, but has an obligation to maintain a certain temperature in the space he's renting out as well. If the only thing keeping the temperature from being too low is a space heater, he can't remove the space heater without providing another source of heat. It's also not at all clear that the law you cite applies to a short-term rental.
    – phoog
    Mar 7 at 17:25

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