Do You Need Heater at Mid Day?

I would like to seek second opinion before action.

Currently in Sydney is 17degree, and we are in a unit (not ground floor, quite sunny in morning).

My lodger has a heater on right now, mid day at noon. It feels like she is abusing it since we agreed on rent including bills.
I did not provide or agree on using heater in the room if it matters.

What is your take of this?

I had fun reading some comments and taking some advice, hope you too.

Added a few points frequently discussed:
Out of contract terms, didn't increase rent in 1+ year, as considering on good terms
Heater cost $13+ a day when running 24/7 (Provider AGL) (2kw heater)
Lodger current behavior is like 24/7, as heater was notice on at 12pm, 4pm early winter (heard noise from corridor)

Poll Options expired

  • 374
    It's reasonable usage
  • 6
    Lodger cannot use heater
  • 197
    Lodger should pay extra for heating

Comments

  • +89 votes

    My dad told me to put on a jumper.

    • +15 votes

      I would expect an average person do this before using heater as well.

      • +26 votes

        While I'll always put a jumper on before using a heater, I will not be putting on a hat, gloves, scarf, rainjacket or other outdoor clothes while living indoors unless I'm in poverty.

        I can be warm enough while moving around, but sitting at my computer to do work is more sedentry and fingers, nose and ears will start to feel cold which distracts me from my work.

        • -57 votes

          Don't worry, LeftieWarmsters are shrieking that rapid global warming will soon overheat the planet, so your lodger should soon not have to use the heater.

          Be patient …

          One LeftieWarmaster (who runs a radio gardening show) informs us that Sydney climate is now "tropical", believe it or not.

          Why don't you tell your lodger that she is crazy to use a heater in a "tropical" climate!

          Let us know how you go …

          • @Gekov: Listen to this big tough guy.

          • @Gekov: You need to be a "leftie" to understand science?

            • -10 votes

              @ozbargainer88: "You need to be a "leftie" to understand science?"

              FYI: The globalwarmingSCAM is a leftie thing based on Soviet style revisionism of climate history (it's been much warmer in the past) & tampering of historical temperature records (aka "homogenistation").

              i.e. it's based on JUNK SCIENCE.

              Rational, thinking people ain't falling for it.

              • @Gekov: I could understand this viewpoint if you exclusively subscribe to alternative media sources, but the scientific consensus is that climate change is real, and it is extremely likely it is caused by human activity. I would encourage you to have a read of the wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming) and also look at the sources, in particular Dunlap, Riley E.; McCright, Aaron M. (2011). "Chapter 10: Organized climate change denial". In Dryzek, John S.; Norgaard, Richard B.; Schlosberg, David (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. Oxford University Press. pp. 144–160. It's pretty damning.

                • @stephendt: " the scientific consensus is that climate change is real"

                  BUT, BUT, BUT, when do we get to see some?

                  I'm getting very impatient with this prolonged "climate change" NO-SHOW.

                  Climate doomsayers have been putting climate disaster predictions further & further into the future for a long time now, as their latest predictions REPEATEDLY fail miserably.

                  And failed climate models which are the ONLY basis for this scaremongering? … don't get me started ….

                  • +2 votes

                    @Gekov: According to Al Gore and his world tour from the late 90's or early 00's most of the East Coast of Australia should be getting around with snorkels on due to the meters of rising sea water that were going to destroy our way of life as we knew it …
                    My feet are still dry.

                • @stephendt: Interesting …

                  You & your fellow HOODWINKED LeftieWarmsters should read this …

                  "On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare"

                  https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2020/06/28...

                  • @Gekov:

                    should read this

                    Ok, so I read it.

                    So we're at the "Ok climate change is real but it's not that bit a deal" stage.

                    Cool.

                    You should read it too, it doesn't support you "LEFTIE SCAM!!!" stance.

              • @Gekov:

                Rational, thinking people ain't falling for it

                Rational thinking people? Like the majority of scientists worldwide?

                It's the same thing non-vacs and flat-Earthers use: "do your own research and you'll see!"

                When it comes to vaccines, I'll trust the majority of doctors to say the benefits outweigh the side-effects, not what I read on the internet.
                When it comes to Earth I'll trust the pilots, scientists and the majority of the globe, over what I read on the internet.
                When it comes to Climate change, I'll listen to the vast majority of scientists (as well as the research my friends have done on changing see temperatures affecting the coral on the Great Barrier Reef), over what I read on the internet.

                • @dizzle: " the majority of scientists worldwide"

                  …. CORRECTION: the majority of LeftieWarmster activists posing as scientists worldwide"

      • if your lodger is walking around in their underwear while the heater is on, then I guess you have a valid complaint.

        what is next? are you going to complaint that s/he takes more than one shower a week?

        • That's a valid question though… what's she wearing during the day whilst she's got the heater on?
          If she's rugged up heaps, fair enough.. if she's walking around in thin clothes, shorts and a tee.. I'd be turning the heater off 'cause clearly it's just wasting electricity / money.

        • If she's walking around in her underwear forgot the cost and see what happens if you turn the heating up more!

    • Can your dad talk to my wife.

    • +11 votes

      Energy Australia in Victoria charge me $0.265 per Kw. Heaters are around 2000 Watts or 2500 Watts. If you leave a 2500 Watt heater on for 24 hours a day -> $0.265 cents x 2.5 Kw = $0.6625 per hour -> $15.90 per day -> $1431.00 per quarter-> $5724.00 per year, just for one heater.

      My kids love to put the heater up high and walk around in t shirts, shirts and bare foot. They don't pay rent or contribute to expenses.

      • +8 votes

        Nah its not. The heater would also not be on full load all the time to be consuming max wattage.
        Internal thermostats would control the output, OP hasn't said what type of heater it is (not that I've read).

      • Got a split which is on alot power bill has risen to three fifty a day.

      • This is one of the most ridiculous calculations I've ever seen. You've literally just taken a number and done some multiplication.

        Even if heaters were consuming 2000W continuously when they're on, who is blasting a 2000W heater in the middle of the Australian summer? At most you're using the heater for 3 - 4 months of the year, so your calculation is at least off by a factor of 4. Even then, most of the time the heater won't be on during the day when people are at work/school or whatever the case. Even when people are home, the heater is usually at around 30 - 50% usage, not pegged continuously at 100%.

        Your $5724 is bonkers, it's quite literally 10 times higher than what that figure really would be if you were realistic about your calculations. I love how you figured out $15.90 and had the genius to say "oh, I'll just multiply it by 365, I'm a genius".

        • So had I said, for those that love to be super hot or super cold, it was how much ONE heater and ONE air con costs if it's running full blast and your windows are open so the thermostat doesn't kick in, would that make you happier?? It was also a pro-rata indicative figure for those that are interested. Try using a 2500 Watt oil filled column heater on for a couple of days with your windows open and have a look at your smart meter aftwards. I was talking about my situation when my kids like to be ridiculous with the heating and cooling.

          • @abacus:

            So had I said, for those that love to be super hot or super cold, it was how much ONE heater and ONE air con costs if it's running full blast and your windows are open so the thermostat doesn't kick in, would that make you happier??

            No, it doesn't make your calculation any less dumb or preposterous.

            If a car guzzles around $20 of fuel per hour of driving, is it reasonable to say that I'll spend $175,000 of fuel per year? Because hey, just multiply it by 24 and then 365! Does that make sense to you? You're basically using the same argument.

            The idea that you can just "make up" this is the figure "if people kept their windows open" is ridiculous because people don't actually do that.

            Try using a 2500 Watt oil filled column heater on for a couple of days with your windows open and have a look at your smart meter aftwards.

            I have a power meter and a heater. I just tried it for you over the course of a few hours without a window open (because that is stupid and people don't actually do that). It started off at 2000W (it's a 2000W) heater for around 10 mins, then it dropped to 1500W, then it settled in at around 1000W until around the 30 min mark, then it dropped to 0W and then continued to alternate between 0W and 1000W on and off until I turned it off.

            This is in an average sized room with the heater set to 28 degrees, comfortable with a t-shirt and no sweater/jumper.

            Basically you are making things up and just using numbers to try and look smarter and make your calculations more credible when they premise and assumptions they rely on are completely bollocks.

            I was talking about my situation when my kids like to be ridiculous with the heating and cooling.

            If you really think you're spending close to $6000 per year on heating, I genuinely feel sorry for your kids.

    • He was right.

  • Different people have different comfort levels. I haven't put on a heater this year yet but I'm sure there's others with less body insulation or poorer blood circulation etc that are affected differently.

    If bills are included as part of the contract, I think it's reasonable if she wants to have heating on.

    • -52 votes

      That is the angle I am missing.
      Then would you think it is reasonable to increase rent by $50 per week to just cover the bills?

      • I'm not sure a heater consumes $50 a week but if there's no fixed contract duration right now between you, then you're within your entitlement to request a rent increase and/or use it as a negotiation tactic to get them to reduce their usage.

        • -24 votes

          The thing is if the lodger is using heater on a not so cold sunny day, then I would assume it would be used 24 hours a day.
          $50 might not be enough to cover the bill increase…

          • @fujay: Fair enough. My personal view is:

            If you agreed $1,000 a week for 6 months to include all bills with no specific exceptions, then tenant would be eligible to use a heater as they see fit for their own comfort.

            I don't think a reasonable clause works in terms of us not being cold and extrapolating on others or expecting them to put on a jumper or extra clothing etc. They should be comfortable in their own home.

            If the heater is left on while they're out for hours then that's a different matter and not considered reasonable use.

            If you don't have a stipulated duration that you've agreed a rate then it's your prerogative to request a rent increase moving forwards. If you have agreed a rate for a specific duration then I would suggest you should honour that contract.

          • @fujay: It’s not a fair assumption that because the lodger has the heater on “on a not so cold sunny day” that they are using the heater 24hrs a day.

            I often put the heater on for 15-30mins to take the chill out of the air then turn it off. I might do this once or twice a day. It is possible that your lodger is doing something similar.

            At just 17degrees max outside the inside of the house might not have warmed from the cold night. 21degrees is a reasonable indoor temperature and having he heater on for a bit might be needed to reach this temperature.

            Could you just ask your lodger how much they are using the heater if it’s concerning you, rather than assuming? Tbh from what you’ve described, it sounds a little creepy, as if you’re hanging around outside their room to see if they have the heater on.

            • @morse: This was my first thought too, I couldnt stand if my landlord was creepily spying on me to see if I was using a heater or aircon or doing anything else for that matter in my own home. Maybe OP should consider others privacy a little more.

    • So much this. I've worked in an office with AC, in winter I'd be sitting there in a short sleeve polo most days and another person across the room would be in jacket, scarf and heater under their desk.

      • Yep everyone's got their own temperature. I just spent last winter in Japan, typical day around 0 degrees degrees, bundled up in thermals, longsleeve shirt, jumper, light down jacket, covered up in a wool coat with a thin scarf.
        Even then I'd feel a little underdressed compared to some others around.

        Meanwhile, Russian dude in the office would rock up in a tshirt most days. When it really dipped down he would sometimes wear a thin jacket

    • Agree. Wife is in sweater all the time and still feels cold inside our apartment. Just take it as a lesson learnt and change the rental agreement when you're allowed to do so.

  • …its winter where you are yeah?

  • If you don't like lodgers using electricity without your permission don't bundle rent and bills together. Better yet, don't have a lodger.

  • It sounds like you have said 'electricity is included in the rent' and now that the tenant is using the electricity, you are unhappy with the arrangement that you both proposed and agreed with. It sounds like you have made some wrong assumptions about the amount of electricity that would be used and are out of money. This is generally referred to as bad business.

    It sounds like you need to ask the tenant if they would like to change the arrangement so that you split the electricity bill, and accordingly reduce the rent by whatever the cost of last months bill was. And if they say no then you are out of luck as that was not part of the agreement.

    What you absolutely should not do, as mentioned earlier, is try to increase the rent by a random value of $50/week which does not appear to have any basis at all.

    • -14 votes

      Out of contract terms, so increase rent is a possible solution.
      Understand i may made some wrong assumption, while base on the current usage pattern, I would think heater will be used all day long, which is roughly $10+ on a 2000w heater. Happy to be corrected.

      • which is roughly $10+ on a 2000w heater.

        No idea what you're paying for because of tiered rates which was the intention.

        Like most Australian's according to ACCC.

      • I would think heater will be used all day long

        You don't know how long it is used. Therefore any number you choose is plucked from the sky.

        • true
          all day long is based on current usage pattern, early winter with heater at 12pm, 4pm etc

      • Just try increasing the rent. The lodger could retaliate by not paying any rent and you can't legally evict them, because there is currently a ban on rental evictions.

        • good point, thought it ceased in NSW, will double check

          • @fujay: should have calculated a baseline for your usual usage based on previous bill history (kwh, not $ as rates change obviously) and then stated say, anything over $550 / quarter (for example) is lodger's responsibility regardless of in or out of contract.

            I mean, if a family of 3 can keep bills around $550 / quarter, then it's a good start for lodger to pay excess to that.

            • @Revrnd: Family of 4 here and our past quarterly bills were:

              06/2020: $350
              03/2020: $475 (higher as we had in-laws living with us the entire period)
              12/2019: $275
              09/2019: $308
              06/2019: $340
              03/2019: $255

              I would find $550/quarter to be quite excessive …

              Edit:
              I get separate bill for gas though which is usually around $150/quarter, so $550 would make sense if gas is not used in the house.

            • @Revrnd: "anything over $550 / quarter (for example) is lodger's responsibility regardless of in or out of contract."

              Then it's up to OP to prove the usage when it's in the same place when shared with another person, I bet they aren't monitoring everything OP does to check consumption and work out the bills, how do they know they're not being overcharged to pay for some of OPs bills? This instant assumption that OP the LL is in the right is interesting.
              Saying that if it's over $X value its due to the lodger needs to be based on something more solid than picking a figure and saying you use more power than I do.

              • @91rs: Simple. If the bill this time this year exceeds the bill this time last year by a clear margin… then historical usage has clearly shown that current usage is excessive. (again, this is based on kWh).

  • +7 votes

    Have you considered other ways of keeping her warm? You know, methods that don't involve electricity (although sparks might fly).

  • I'm fine with a jacket on, others aren't. It's dependent

  • It's winter, I'm currently in QLD at 1pm and if I had a heater I would put it on (don't have one as I haven't needed one before, but apparently this is the coldest Brisbane winter in decades). Some people are more susceptible to the cold, due to circulation or other conditions. Unless you agreed to split the bills I don't think you can blame them for that.

    Do you charge her less in Summer for lighting? With longer daylight hours she'd be using less electricity on the lights.

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